‘after 14 years, I’m Free Now’ SAYS Mukanya
Legendary musician Thomas ‘Mukanya’ Mapfumo says he feels free now and will mark his return to Zimbabwe after 14 years with a musical show at the Glamis Arena in Harare on April 28.
Mukanya and his Blacks Unlimited were last in Zimbabwe in 2004 and the closest he has been to home was the Limpopo province in South Africa last years.
Speaking exclusively to H-Metro from his US base Sunday night, Mukanya said he feels free to return home for at least a show and the April 28 gig is the one certainty as of now although more shows can still be arranged if all requirements are met.
Back home, one reason for his exile has been that he was granted asylum in the US and thus would lose the status once he flied into Zimbabwe for whatever reason and this theory was somewhat strengthened when he missed a number of family funerals over the last 14 years.
The other reason was that he had an outstanding car theft case with the ZRP but Mukanya says both theories are WRONG. He says the car issue was resolved long back and what is left is locating the cars that had been handed over to the police.
“I am a holder of an American passport and I don’t have any problem with where I can travel, I am not there on asylum. Reasons for not coming home over the years had nothing to do with the asylum. There were certain issues that were not in order as far as the country’s leadership then was concerned.”
Mukanya revealed that he had already spoken to Home Affairs Minister, Obert Mpofu.
“I spoke on the phone with Minister Mpofu and he is a fan of our music. Things are okay now in Zimbabwe and I am free to perform again without worrying about other things.
“I must say I am very happy with the way things are improving in Zimbabwe. Things are moving in the right direction even though there are still some things that need attention. You can see that the new leadership is committed is committed to a free Zimbabwe that we have always been clamoring for.
“That is what my music has always been about, a free Zimbabwe where the leadership is committed to a better living for the people. We have always wanted a leadership that listens to people’s concerns and that is what we are beginning to see in Zimbabwe.
“There have been efforts to bring corrupt people to book and we support that, I have voiced my concerns against corruption in song and it is a good thing when you hear that corrupt leaders are being arrested and tried in courts of law”
Mukanya added that he will continue singing for the ‘povo’ and not align himself with political figures.
“I have no interest in which candidate wins an election or rules the country. My main concern are the people of Zimbabwe and their interests. I try and champion their cause and I will continue on that path so that we have the Zimbabwe we want.”
He is currently in studio working on an album that will be available by the time he travels to Zimbabwe in April.
“There is no tittle for the album as yet but it will be done by the time I come to Zimbabwe.”
Last week Mukanya was honoured with a World Music Award at the 2018 Globalfest Award in New York and he has dedicated it to his Zimbabwean fans.
“‘I believe I am an ambassador for Zimbabwean art and culture and the award is for Zimbabwe and all my fans who have kept me going. Without their support I would not have been where I am today and for that I dedicate the award to them.
“It is a huge honour to have a global award for having made an impact at a global scale, it’s not a national or regional award but the whole world.”
On his trip in April, Mukanya wants to bring ALL his Black Unlimited members who are in the United States and UK so as to give it his best quality.
“I want to bring all the band members. Some are here in the States and others are in UK, I will travel with all of them.