African music legend Thomas ‘Mukanya’ Mapfumo is reported in local media outlets to have chastised the young artistes of his country, noting that Zimdancehall musicians lack originality.
“I don’t hate them at all. I am actually happy to share the stage with youngsters, but they need to be original. My dream has always been to nurture the youngsters to become musicians of note and surpass the levels that I and my peers reached internationally,” he is reported to have said.
The 70-year-old music legend added that the Zimdancehall artistes must not sing in Jamaican patois.
“Zimdancehall can only grow if the youngsters desist from imitating Jamaican musicians, like patois. We cannot do patois better than the Jamaicans, and if you go on the international market with such products they would rather prefer that from Jamaica than ours.
“Therefore, for these youngsters to compete at an international level, they should not be copycats of Jamaica or American musicians, rather they should do what people like the late Lucky Dube did. He (Dube) packaged his reggae music in a “South African” flavour and became a hit internationally; he didn’t do patois,” he is quoted as saying in a local newspaper.
Mukanya, also reportedly wants to see Zimdancehall artistes focusing on positive messages.
“I am against the foul language that mainly dominates Zimdancehall. I call on them to focus on messages that bring people together; spreading love amongst Zimbabweans,” he is quoted as saying.