Zimbabwean music artists divide opinions as they voice support for ZANU-PF


As the elections are approaching closer, tensions are high and there is a multiplicity of opinions. In the midst of this, a number of musicians in Zimbabwe have come out expressly voicing their support for the ruling party ZANU-PF.

Holy Ten Michael Magz Enzo Ishall Ricky Fire Zimbabwe music artists support ZANU-PF

Chief among these artists has been prominent hip-hop artist Holy Ten, who has made his support for ZANU-PF public on several occasions. He has been unapologetically expressing his support for the ruling party as well urging Zimbabwean citizens to cast their votes for Emmerson Mnangagwa, the presidential candidate for ZANU-PF.

Holy Ten, with his associate under Samanyanga Sounds Michael Magz, is seen in viral online videos wearing ZANU-PF regalia.

Some quarters have castigated music artists for support a system that has purportedly brought Zimbabwe under its knees as the country buckles under the enormous weight of sociopolitical difficulties; while others have said that each person has the right to express their fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution.

In one of the several videos that have gone viral Holy Ten proffers the reasons why people should vote for Emmerson Mnangagwa:

“When you hear the words ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God’ you have to understand that the will of the people is divine. The will of the people is to be led by a strong president who is level-headed and can set a clear vision for the country. A man who possesses integrity and is committed to serving the best interests of the nation.

“The path has been defined. We have a vision of the promised and President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the leader chosen to take us there.”

In another video, Holy Ten appears with Michael Magz saying “ED Huchi!” (Emmerson Dambudzo is like honey).

“Over the weekend we were at Beitbridge; we have seen the development that has been done at the border post. Totally out of this world. We have been in and out of the airport; things are changing,” Holy Ten proclaims, with Michael Magz concluding with chanting, “ED Huchi”, a catchphrase attributed to a convicted rapist.

It is not only Holy Ten who has expressly made his support for the ruling party explicit, but other artists as well including Ricky Fire, Poptain, Kikky Badass, Enzo Ishall, Chillspot Records, among others. Others have accused Holy Ten of double standards—claiming that his representation of ZANU-PF is inimical to the interests of justice considering he rose to nationwide renown with a song railing against the system titled ‘Ndaremerwa’.

The issue of bringing in music artists for political ends in electoral campaigns is not new. Musicians wield huge influence among the populace, depending with the demographics, and political parties are always inclined to use artists to this effect.

As the 2023 election season is gaining momentum, with only a few days left to the plebiscite, the issue of musicians aligning with specific political parties should be gleaned in the context of Zimbabwean presidential hopefuls using music stars to woo the all-important youth vote. Politicians hope that a “high-tempo” campaign will energise young voters to vote for them. 

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