Former editor of “The Herald”, Ceasar Zvayi has warned Zimdancehall artist Winky D that henceforth, he should expect to be treated as a politician, and not a musician.
Zvayi was commenting on Winky D’s lyrics on his song Vashakabvu Part 2 which he belted out at his Ghettocracy show at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on 31 December 2023. He wrote on X:
If this is music, then my grandmother is a virgin! This lightweight has thrown down the gauntlet asazoti mavara angu azare ivhu. Apinda mupolitical ring literally & metaphorically… Just saying.
In the song, Winky D touched on the disputed August 2023 elections and also claimed that his songs have been banned on local radio.
He also bemoaned the harsh economic situation that has forced millions of Zimbabweans to leave the country in search of greener pastures. The lyrics include:
Ndopararira kwese kwese kutsvaga maguta/Umwe oti ndakahwinha umwe woti wakabuta/Varikuona Mbuya Nehanda varimuguta/Ndakatsikisa dambarefu Eureka Eureka/Paradio voramba voti iro ridza wega/Ndakati vanotora zvevapfupi nekurebaUumwe woiramba hanzi iyo wakaimba wega.
In response to Zvayi, Chofamba said artists should be allowed to freely express themselves and to speak truth to power. He said:
Chief, you’re just expressing the typical intolerance of the authoritarian Zanu-PF regime towards artists who would dare make any social commentary that’s unfavourable to it!
You stand on the side of power so you will never appreciate any artist who speaks truth to power. You only appreciate such artists when they’re foreign or when the powers they address are also foreign.
So let’s not pretend you come with any objective lens to critically appreciate Winky D’s music!
Zandatoto echoed similar sentiments, saying it’s wrong to try to gag musicians. He wrote:
The thinking is government should not be questioned, citizens should not express themselves on day-to-day challenges. He wouldn’t have had problems if Winky D were to sing Patati Patata
Patati Patata is a collaboration song between Zimbabwean urban grooves artist Roki, Congolese Soukous singer Koffi Olomide and Tanzanian Afro-pop artiste Rayvanny that was released in August 2021.
In the song, Koffi chanted “ED Mnangagwa number one” in reference to President Emmerson Dambudzo (ED) Mnangagwa.
Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Siphosami Malunga told Zvayi to “allow musicians to sing”. He wrote:
Regayi vaimbi vaimbe. Vanyori vanyore. Vanotsoropodza vatsoropodze. Vanokwikwidza nezvematongero vakwikwidze. Vanotungamira vatungamire. Ngazviende. Igoredzva.
Winky D’s lyrics often contain political commentary, touching on social problems including injustice, poverty, and corruption.
It is not clear why authorities and ZANU PF-linked individuals don’t like Winky D’s compositions.
On 4 March 2023, police officers stormed the stage during Winky D’s live performance and shut down his show to intimidate him for his critical commentary.