Last year saw Jah Prayzah’s Kutonga Kwaro sounding much like a national anthem. The high point of this was achieved when the military stepped in the race to succeed former president Robert Mugabe, his song was just eponymous, befitting the prevailing political situation.
Now, a leading cleric has said that Jah Prayzah’s music is prophetic and that it deserves special mention. Pastor Andrew Wutawunashe, chairman of the Faith for the Nation lauded Jah Prayzah for his extraordinary music during the national thanksgiving and dedication service at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds in Bulawayo.
Songs such as Mudhara Vachauya and Kutonga Kwaro have had strong political connotations. Interestingly, all these songs have had some inclination towards current president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Jah Prayzah’s songs need a special mention within the nation as they have been prophetic. The song that was played by the band especially Kutonga Kwaro is one of those. It has been changed a bit in the church as we say instead of Kutonga Kwaro gamba, we say Kutonga Kwaro gamba richi tungamirwa namwari (The hero governs with the help of God),” said Wutawunashe.
And so when the politics of the country was having a major upheaval never seen before, the unifying song became Kutonga Kwaro. The song was simply ubiquitous. It became “Kutonga Kwaro Garwe.”
The “revolution” became synonymous with Jah Prayzah’s Kutonga Kwaro. In official media communications, he obviously distances his music from any politics. But is it so? What if he has been deliberately fighting in Mnangagwa’s corner all this while? But those may just remain some speculation which are devoid of substantiation. Truth be told, Jah Prayzah caused some political headaches to some last year. These things are inevitable.
Let’s return a bit to 2016. Jah Prayzah that time released Mudhara Vachauya. In the lyrics, the song goes, “Mudhara vachauya, shumba inoruma…” implying that the vicious lion conquers. Mnangagwa is of the Shumba totem. Some sources in the ruling party immediately came up with conclusions that Jah Prayzah was eliciting public support for Mnangagwa, thus paving a way for him to the highest office in the land. The song was quite controversial really. Some G40 youths would always play the song whenever Mugabe made his way to the podium during the Youth Interface rallies.
At one point, former Youth henchman Kudzanai Chipanga declared that Mudhara Vachauya was the sole and exclusive preserve of Robert Mugabe. Imagine, a bitter war of who controls Jah Prayzah’s music in reference to their preferred politician!
Jah Prayzah’s lyrics did not settle well with some politicians, who were once keen attendees at his album launches ending up not showing at his album launches. Keen Mushapaidze, the manager of the Jah Prayzah, said that he was not worried that politicians who were once keen fans of Jah Prayzah were no longer attending. Speaking to Daily News, he said that they treat all fans equally and their music is not made for certain political people.
Taking a closer look, Kutonga Kwaro really has political undertones. Let’s return back to November 2017 now. When Mnangagwa was unceremoniously fired, he issued a stinging press statement, in which he said that he would return to lead the people of Zimbabwe. We obviously shrugged that off as the words of a bitter man who had his share of the cake grabbed from him heartlessly and callously. And then, as the events unfolded, he returned victorious, perceived and actually hailed as a hero. Now what do the Kutonga Kwaro lyrics say?
“Hee rasvika gamba, kutonga kwaro…” the chorus goes. Feel that? Mnangagwa returned as the hero, the hero that has promised to lead us. The song suggests new rules of engagement, “Ndakuchinja mutemo..” But some would just say we are interpreting this in an extremely egregious manner.
Is Jah Prayzah’s music prophetic, or he really knows what happens in the political arena. Do his lyrics reflect someone who is fighting for a certain political team? We do not know! And we are allowed to come up with wild interpretations.