There is a time when a musician’s soul converse to you from end to end despite language barriers, culture and race; that is how l exactly felt when l heard Vusi Nova’s version of Memeza originally done by Brenda Fassie. I bet Mabrrrr smiled and was very proud of this version of her song Memeza which translated in English means ‘Shout out/Scream Out’. Asked for my opinion I will certainly say that Brenda Fassie was one of South Africa’s most iconic anti-apartheid voices and undeniably one of the African music legends who was at the forefront of Pan-Africanism, she certainly gave Africa a voice that the world could not ignore.
Still in my thoughts and hammering along to Memeza, Oliver Mtukudzi’s song started playing….Todini?…Senzeni?….What shall we do?….whilst immersed in the song a facebook notification popped up,then my instagram and twitter, the posts had the same message #ZimbabweanLivesMatter, within minutes l realised that this is trending with the majority of Zimbabweans, international, continental and regional people amongst them prominent people and celebrities joining in. What a movement!!!!! I then comprehended that the hashtag might have approximately generated +400000 tweets and from the look of things the hashtag was set to exist longer than the regular lifespan of a standard Twitter trend.
To pay close attention to the tweets and facebook messages l clicked the previous button on my music player then hit the repeat button for Memeza to continuously play in the background as l navigate the social media streets. Thoughts were pouring in and l was very desperate to reach to the climax of the story. I thought to myself that despite the known spirit of endurance and perseverance amongst us Zimbabweans how detrimental has the Second Republic been on a general Zimbabwean? How extensively has the societal gap between the rich and poor Zimbabweans widened? Do the rich understand that the freebies they get impose a huge cost on the rest of the society? Do they even realise that there is someone poorer than them bearing the load of outstanding national debts? Who protects the taxpayer? Immediately l vividly imagined a concerned Zimbabwean taxpayer pleading with those in higher places to do something about the sickening economy or the gap will keep on widening. Will they hear the cries and woes of children of the soil?
Are they willing to lend an ear? Just recently 7 out 8 newly born babies died, the rate of infant mortality is really worrisome. What kind of a health system is that? These thoughts in my head could not however stop me from feeling the emotions and vibrations from the messages l was running through, indisputably the majority of Zimbabweans are silently screaming #ZimbabweanLivesMatter and judging from the overwhelming responses on social media the silent screams were being heard loud and clear.
Is it really a coincidence that l was listening to Memeza? Is it by any coincidence that I was listening to Tuku’s Todini? Senzeni? Is it really a coincidence that l was listening to a remix song by an anti-apartheid iconic singer? Is it surely a coincidence that Zimbabweans voiced out and the world could not ignore the pleas? Can l really equate what’s happening in Zimbabwe to the apartheid era? Can l? Is it appropriate? Doesn’t it feel like war where freedom is a luxury? Or its just me wrongly perceiving things? What shall we do? Is kindly asking to be heard a crime? Are we not supposed to be united as a nation in the face of the dreadful Corona Virus? Are we not supposed to be each other’s keeper in these times? Are we not supposed to be proportionately fixing ladders and stretching hands to help each other climb the ladder rather than pushing away and removing ladders so that you stay on top forever? Who would help you when you want to climb down? Are we not supposed to be protected by the national security forces? Are we supposed to respect or fear? Do you think that we can peacefully talk all this through? Can’t we put our differences aside and start working towards restoring the lost glory of Zimbabwe? Interestingly did you know that at some point the nation was termed the Jewel of Africa? It’s just a reminder you might have forgotten that we were once the Jewel of Africa. How can we all work together to build a better Zimbabwe and restore the lost glory? Too many questions in my head, as Vusi Nova’s voice melodiously repeat the words “Noma nginga Memeza ma, Akusizi lutho. Yimi nabo nkosi yami”
By Radio54’s Broadcast Journalist Kuda Hwema