Zimbabwean musicians face intimidation and threats for speaking out against corruption and poverty

January 3, 2023
winkydandholy10 1 | Report Focus News
winkydandholy10 1

Musicians in Zimbabwe continue to face intimidation and threats for speaking out against corruption and poverty in the country.

The recent album launch by one of the most prominent artists Winky D has brought this to the fore. One of the artists he collaborated with on his latest project (Eureka Eureka) Holy Ten has come under fire on social media accused of selling out and working against the government.

Holy Ten whose real name is Mukudzei Chitsama, expressed the pressures felt from some quarters of the Zimbabwean establishment in a tweet saying:

—Activists, journalists, lawyers – Split opinions will not do any good for a brand that’s trying to serve & save everyone so help me by not acting like I’ve picked a side. Do not politicize a project that I’ve considered a mere honor to be a part of. I regret it now honestly💔—

We are fighting for freedom of expression

Commenting on the issues that artists and musicians face in Zimbabwe, Lazzie T a reggae artist and music producer told Report Focus News that:

“It is never safe for those wanting to exercise their freedom of expression particularly those who want to expose corruption and abuse of power and national resources in Zimbabwe.”

Lazzie T has a song titled (There is corruption) which has received critical acclaim from many critics as being on point and articulating an important message about the country’s economic state and highlighting the plight of the masses. Nonetheless the radio stations which are government controlled boycotted the song and it was never given airplay.

Despite the danger, these artists remain determined to use their platforms to shed light on the issues affecting their communities and to advocate for change.

Many Zimbabwean musicians have used their music to address social and political issues, including corruption, poverty, and human rights abuses. However, their efforts have not always been welcomed by those in power.

In recent years, several musicians have reported being threatened or harassed for their activism. In 2018, popular musician Jah Prayzah was reportedly threatened with arrest for participating in an anti-government protest. And just last month, up-and-coming artist Hwindi President was allegedly beaten by unidentified assailants for his criticism of the government.

Despite the risks, these musicians remain undaunted in their efforts to use their talents to bring about positive change. In a recent interview, Jah Prayzah stated, ‘As artists, it is our responsibility to use our voices to speak out against injustice and to stand up for the rights of our communities.’

The intimidation and threats faced by Zimbabwean musicians serve as a reminder of the challenges facing those who speak out against corruption and poverty in the country. It is crucial that the international community stands in solidarity with these brave artists and supports their efforts to bring about positive change in Zimbabwe.