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ZANU PF Says No One Can Cancel Artists In Zimbabwe

1 month ago
Sat, 19 Aug 2023 07:18:54 GMT
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ZANU PF Says No One Can Cancel Artists In Zimbabwe

ZANU PF has asserted that no one possesses the authority to cancel artists in Zimbabwe, countering the increasing calls on social media for people and promoters to distance themselves from artists who were seen dining with political elites from the ruling party. Notably, artists like Holy Ten, Ricky Fire, Poptain, Enzo Ishall, DJ Levels, Kicky Badass, Sandra Ndebele, and Ras Pompy have openly endorsed ZANU PF and its presidential candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa, ahead of the forthcoming August 23 harmonised elections.

Following their endorsement of the ruling party, Larry Kays, who promotes Zimbabwean artists in America, cancelled music shows involving Holy Ten and Enzo Ishall. He said:

I’m so disappointed i had to cancel all my plans with these artists, as an artist once you are captured that’s it, they don’t really like you but your influence, you don’t rub it in your vote is your secret be professional and be an artist for all. 

Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono predicted that the artistes who are endorsing the ruling party will lose followers. He said:

Like many before them who endorsed corrupt and repressive rule, Holy Ten and his mates will lose out on international gigs as many Zimbabweans abroad hold ZANUPF responsible for their having to leave the country. Artists like Andy Brown lost their huge followers because of their endorsement and dalliance with ZANU PF. Playing music at ZANUPF rallies is one thing because it is professional work, endorsing it is a whole different ballgame for many people.

Responding to calls to cancel the artistes, the ZANU PF party said:

No one can cancel artists in Zimbabwe. Let’s just enjoy artists’ music without attacking them for their political choices.

The post faced criticism on social media, with users accusing the ruling party of hypocrisy and double standards. They accused the ruling party and certain government officials of heavily criticising Winky D’s album, Eureka Eureka, leading to its alleged ban on state-run radios. Social media users questioned why ZANU PF attacked Winky D for allegedly delving into politics while simultaneously protecting those who were aligned with the ruling party. 

Some commentators pointed out examples of artistes whose careers took a downturn after showing support for the ruling party. They mentioned Bryan Mteki, Tambaoga, Simon Chimbetu, Andy Brown, and Chinx Chingaira as musicians who faced negative consequences after being associated with ZANU PF. They said aligning with the party can have detrimental effects on an artistes’ success.
Following the criticism, musician Ricky Fire, who was among the artistes attacked for attending a ZANU PF event, defended his decision to attend. He stated that it is unfair for someone to judge him for simply having lunch with people who may not be favoured by others. Ricky Fire emphasised that he prioritizes his family and their well-being. He asserted that he has the freedom to make his own choices, and he does not concern himself with seeking approval or gaining popularity on social media. He said his focus remains on his family and their real-life experiences. A few months ago, Ricky Fire attended Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) events and was seen wearing the party’s regalia as a sign of endorsing the Nelson Chamisa-led outfit.

The criticism faced by artistes associated with ZANU PF, while those aligned with CCC (Citizens Coalition for Change) are not being attacked, is largely based on the belief that ZANU PF is responsible for the socio-economic and political challenges in the country. Endorsing the party is seen as endorsing the issues such as unemployment, inflation, human rights violations, corruption, and looting that are associated with it.

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