THEY may have smoked a peace pipe since Thomas Mapfumo claimed in 2011 that his career “will not last”, but Winky D, it would appear, wants to have the last word in the spat.
In a new music video released on March 3, Winky D takes a not-so-subtle dig at the Chimurenga star by telling him that Oliver Mtukudzi is now well ahead of him in the popularity stakes.
Winky D says his new single, 'Vashakabvu', is a letter to departed stars from the 1970s through to the 90s, an update on the changes that have taken place since their deaths.
Delivered with a touch of humour, Winky D brings the industry’s fallen heroes up to speed after warning: “Zvinhu zvachinja rough.”
To those who didn’t make the 1990s, he sings, we now use phones which we carry in our pockets.
Oh, and you won't believe it, but we now have the Chinese opening factories in Zimbabwe.
The songs that you left being played on “record” are now on iPod and get shared around the world for free – and your families don’t get a penny, he continues his missive.
But Winky D could not help himself from sneaking in a line about Mtukudzi and Mapfumo - two of the country's most successful recording artists.
“Mukanya wamakasiya aripamberi paTuku, zvino zvachinja Zimbabwe yese yongoti Tuku (You left Thomas Mapfumo the most popular musician ahead of Oliver Mtukudzi, but things have changed and the whole of Zimbabwe now shouts Mtukudzi’s name),” Winky D rhymes.
The lyrics would pass as nothing more than artistic licence but for the fact that fans of the two men know there is no love lost between them.
Mapfumo – who arrives in London on Tuesday next week for a joint tour with Mtukudzi on March 15 and 16 – had a verbal jousting with Winky D in 2011 after telling a newspaper that Winky D’s music, usually consisting a dancehall beat with lyrics delivered mainly in Shona, made his heart “bleed”.
“What he sings is not our music. He can enjoy the success now, but that kind of music does not last,” Mapfumo said at the time.
“Tuku and myself would not have made it musically if we had done stuff like that. Only Winky D’s friends and relatives will buy that kind of music. He must be original to survive in music.”
Mapfumo was later forced to clarify his comments, insisting that he had been quoted out of context.
After calling Winky D from his United States base, Mapfumo later told reporters: “I told him not to listen to people who had taken my advice to him out of context to push their own agendas.
“I only had good advice for him and said ‘look, young brother, this is a jungle and for you to break into it you have to beat them at their own game’. People like the late Lucky Dube didn’t sing in any of the South African languages, so I just said to Winky he could also make it internationally by singing maybe in English to be appreciated all over and challenge those who are already established in reggae or ragga.
“You have to beat them at their own game if you choose to do their music.”
WINKY D: VASHAKABVU