4 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Published Poet Turns to Chimurenga Music

Chimurenga music lovers have been starved of their favourite genre ever since the legendary Thomas "Mukanya" Mapfumo relocated to the United States of America. The void left by Mukanya has been difficult to fill but this could be a thing of the past as Norman "Comrade Hondo" Mwale has vowed to step in and keep the Chimurenga music alive.

Cde Hondo is a published poet whose poems have been compiled into "The Crackling Voices". The most famous is "African Diet" in which he talks about being proud to be African.

The poet-cum-singer has dropped his debut album "Vamutsei Titende", a plea to the Almighty to resurrect the fallen liberation war heroes so that people could show their gratitude.

The six-track album starts with a song "Bona" which is a tribute to President Mugabe's late mother Bona Mugabe.

"It's a song I did to thank the mother of our President for giving us such a visionary and steadfast leader in President Mugabe," said Cde Hondo.

The song is characterised by the unmistakable fast Chimurenga beat and given fair airplay on the radio the song can easily become a hit on local chart shows. Other tracks on the album include "Vamutsei", "Chidembo", "Tsamba", "Cornerstone" and "Tengesa Nyika".

All the tracks touch on the virtues of safeguarding the country's independence and sovereignty.

The Gutu-based musician said although this was his first project, he plans to make an impact on the local music scene.

"I have always wanted to be a singer and I will soldier on to keep the Chimurenga music alive. I think this is my calling," said Cde Hondo.

Born in Kwekwe in 1972, Cde Hondo said he has benefited fully from the indigenisation and empowerment programme.

"Besides being a poet and a musician, I have a stall at Mupandawana Growth Point where I sell drinks. So people should not mistake me for someone who is into this (music) for the love of money," he said.

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