Monday, 18 April 2011

Tozeza Baba



Still in Independence Day mode, I'm sitting here wishing the whole world understood Shona so I could post a playlist of all the songs I'm listening to right now. But since that's an impossible wish, I'll post one song by Oliver Mtukudzi (Tuku). It's called 'Tozeza Baba', meaning 'we are afraid of father' because the father's a drunk who beats up on the mother, as the video shows. It's also a chastening of the father by a child as Tuku's first line is 'Imi Baba imi manyanya' meaning 'you father you, you're overdoing it now.' (*insert finger wagging here*)
Depending on how much you read into Tuku's music, there's also a subversive political meaning to the song. Substitute the domestic setting for the national and this could describe the situation of the country, a nation with a political Father who unnecessarily exerts his authority on the weak and vulnerable. The genius about Tuku is that he has never openly expressed his political beliefs in his music, the listener is free to interpret his music in whatever way they wish. Both of the main political parties in Zimbabwe, Zanu and MDC, have appropriated his music because he has played at Zanu rallies so some say it suggests he supports the brand anti-colonial nationalism of Mugabe whereas the latter interpret Tuku's songs to be an anti-violence, pro-change stance, especially because of Bvuma (not the best videos) a controversial song urging someone to accept that he has gotten too old and must make way for young...

On the controversy surrounding Bvuma in 2000 (?) (year of the fast-track land re-appropriation scheme):
There was also the case of a sound engineer who worked for Oliver Mutukudzi who was apprehended after a live performance where it is said that he directed a stage light on Mugabe’s portrait when Tuku was tuning out his banned 'Bvuma' a song that has been interpreted as directed to Mugabe.
Artists such as Mutukudzi and [Thomas] Mapfumo command a huge following and their lyrical composition has always been under the spotlight. The government tried to pin down Mutukudzi for his song 'Bvuma' and he gave an excuse that he did not direct the song at the head of state. Actually it referred to his relationship with his children. Mutukudzi has been on record for making it clear that he is not a ZANU PF supporter after a series of botched attempts to align him and his music with the ruling party.
Source: Freemuse

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