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Wednesday 6 January 2016

The Lion of Zimbabwe

A quick trip to Oxfam on Victoria Road, Glasgow led to me coming away with Corruption a 1989 album on the Mango label by the mighty Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited.
He terms his music as Chimurenga which means struggle in his native Shona tongue and which was the name of a previous revolutionary movement in the 19th century.
Originally he was a strong supporter and contributor to Zimbabwean independence. By 1989 like many others he was pretty disillusioned with the Mugabe regime and not surprisingly Corruption did not go down well leading to government harassment and his subsequent relocation to Eugene, Oregon

For those of you not familiar with the Shona language here is a brief description of the two songs courtesy of the album sleeve

Moyo Wangu - My Heart - This song is about the exploitation of the poor by the rich. There comes a time of confrontation when the poor say enough is enough. We will not be controlled by those who practice what they preach.

Handina Munyama - I Am Not Unlucky - I was born right. The Spirits of my ancestors look after me.I know that I have the right parents and the right friends because of their deeds.

Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited - Moyo Wangu

Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited - Handina Munyama


  1. One of my favourite concerts, Thomas Mapfumo ca. 1993 Newcastle. An awesome stage presence, when he came on stage he seemed to be about 8 feet tall. First track you've posted today is terrific.

  2. Drat - my poor old computer is still having problems with Zippy! Not a complaint, CC, just a lament. It seems to have gotten five *s from George. I'll run over to youtube to see if I can give it a listen there. ;-)

  3. A truly fabulous find CC. Excellent stuff, particularly 'Moyo Wangu'.

  4. Eugene is a long way from Zimbabwe. Interesting story and top-notch tunes.