Former Energy Minister Chasi Defends Winky D's Music Against Authorities' Opposition
Fortune Chasi, the outgoing Member of Parliament for Mazowe South and former Energy and Power Development Minister, has defended the Zimbabwean dancehall artist, Winky D, who has been having a run-in with the authorities over his political and socially conscious music.
It is alleged that the ZANU PF government banned Winky D’s music on state-owned radio stations and the public broadcaster, ZBC.
Chasi, who is known to be an admirer of Winky D’s music, said that those who don’t like the political connotations in Winky D’s music should simply not listen to it. Posting on Twitter, Chasi, a member of the ruling ZANU PF also added that musicians and writers should not be censored and that they should be allowed to create without interference. He further stated:
I took the time to listen to his music, I like his music but I have never met him (Winky D).
I also love poetry and literature, so when people start making these criticisms, I take the time to listen and ask myself if there is a problem.
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A musician is a product of their material condition, they sing about what they interact with, where they come from in the ghetto — their troubles and tribulations.
To be honest, I was surprised at what the whole hullabaloo is about.
I don’t think musicians and writers should be interfered with in their freedoms to create. ljipita (Winky D’s song) once stirred controversy but for me Egypt (ljipita) represents a desirable state of affairs, a promised land.
I think sometimes we blow things out of the correct way that they should be moving and I am glad the deputy minister (Tino Machakaire) spoke about it.
I love Winky D’s music and I don’t think he has done anything wrong and let us not hinder people from creativity, I have sung songs myself and I wouldn’t want someone to come and tell me how I should sing.
Let people write and sing what they want, it’s their constitutional right, musical taste is not universal, let people sample what they want and if you don’t like someone’s music don’t listen to them.
In January, the Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Art and Recreation, Tinoda Machakaire, criticised Winky D following the release of his album, Eureka Eureka in December, but later made a U-turn, urging Zimbabweans not to fight artists. The album was viewed by some individuals and groups as politically-charged.
Machakaire, who is ZANU PF’s secretary for youth affairs, called for a tone down of criticism against Winky D and urged Zimbabweans to respect artistes’ constitutional rights and opinions. Machakaire also highlighted the importance of finding solutions to the problems facing the country, rather than fighting each other.
One of the controversial songs on Winky D’s Eureka Eureka album is “Ibotso,” which portrays Zimbabwe as a society in decay, where corruption and poverty have devastated young people in ghetto communities. The song criticises those who choose to ignore these harsh realities, while Winky D exposes the ugly underbelly of a society that hides behind a facade of self-denial. The lyrics suggest that Zimbabweans are living in a prolonged nightmare, and that delusion and deceit are prevalent. Through “Ibotso,” Winky D highlights the plight of Zimbabwean youths and calls for action to address the country’s social and economic challenges.