By Darlington Gatsi
When the voice of little known Shingai Shonhiwa pierced through Harare International Conference Center (HICC), revellers stood still, pondering what had hit hard.
“Is this the land we cry for? Usadaro!” were the opening lines.
Shonhiwa rocked the stage in the wee hours of 2023 like an angel clad in all white with the country’s flag drapped around her neck, joining ZimDancehall kingpin, Wallace Chirimuko, more widely known as Winky D.
Arguably reserving the best for last, Winky D dished out “Dzimba Dzemabwe” in which he featured Shonhiwa in his latest album ‘Eureka Eureka”, leaving the once dancing crowd absorbed in deep lyricism by two crooners.
“Dzimba Dzemabwe” questions the status quo of the country, which has seen Zimbabwe, once an envy of the region, turned into a pale shadow of its former glory.
The song has become popular in public spaces around the country, with many playing it on repeat as if it is a jingle.
Winky D sums up Zimbabwe, which was once regarded as the bread basket of Africa, but is now literally a basket carrying water.
As aptly summed up in an accompanying video which was released Monday, Winky D questions if the state of the country is what the fore-bearers died for.
Winky D has attracted nationwide attention positively and negatively with his latest offering dividing opinions.
In a polarised Zimbabwean social strata, “Dzimba Dzemabwe” and “Ibotso,” which featured hip hop star Holy Ten, have been politicised, listened to along political party lines.
Ibotso literally lays blame on authorities for the public’s suffering.
“You rock Gaffa! Quality music, superb lyrics. Deep and relevant message there Gaffa President. You are GOAT! (greatest of all time),” said main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa.
A lot of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists showered praises on Winky D for singing about bread and butter issues.
Winky D’s music, lyrics and fashion sense have always been clouded in mystery, leaving many with heads spinning as they struggle to decipher the hidden meaning.
Gaffer, as Winky D is affectionately known, through music with stage and studio providing only portals of conveying his messages, has stood against classicism, injustice and looting of public coffers by those on upper echelons of powers.
In “Ibotso”, Winky D highlights how those on the lower strata are shortchanged by elites.
For a country going through political and social turbulence, Winky D gives hope of a brighter future for young people in a song titled “Dreams” which he featured Saintfloew.
This has endeared him with the socially marginalised who perceive him as the mouthpiece of their struggles.
The undertones in the lyrics of Winky D have led a barrage of criticism from ruling party Zanu PF supporters, saying the muso should desist from dubbing in politics.
“Artists are no fools. You can never abuse them to resurrect collapsed irrelevant opposition agendas. Holy Ten has clarified that. They were made to drop their lyrics before Winky D brought his own twisted version, having signed a contract with the US embassy, which I am in possession of,” said Zanu PF director of information, Tafadzwa Mugwadi in a tweet.
According to Winky, “Eureka Eureka,” which is derived From Greek philosopher Archmedes, is an attempt to dismantle intolerance, encouraging society to embrace divergent views.
Holy Ten could not stomach criticism and seems to have developed cold feet, regrettably after the song is already making waves on social media, saying he now regrets collaborating with Winky D.
The musician said his music should not be interpreted through political lenses.
“Activists, journalists, lawyers – Split opinions will not do any good for a brand that’s trying to serve and save everyone, so help me by not acting like I’ve picked a side. Do not politicize a project that I’ve considered a mere honor to be a part of. I regret it now honestly,” said Holy Ten in a tweet.