Tendai Maraire: “Boom is me throwing a punch at those that still disrespect Zimbabwean music”

When Tendai Maraire broke down his Pungwe mixtape for us last year.

I remember when Zimbabwe gained independence. My mother had a big party at the house in Seattle — with all her friends, Zimbabwean and American. My uncle, who fought in the guerrilla war against the white Rhodesian state, flew in weeks later. She started celebrating every year and even would get together with friends to sponsor groups from Zimbabwe to come and perform. Years later she focused more on performing, and non-Zimbabweans took over. They called it a Marimba festival and later transitioned it to Zimfest, which still exists. One year, my brothers and I went when my father was still alive living in Zimbabwe. After we came back, we saw that it had not represented our culture, history or the people indigenous to Zimbabwe. So we started flipping tables etcetera. The festival was stopped and dialogue started on how things needed to change. I promised that day to everyone that I would change it.

See, Zimbabwean music has a rich story-telling history. Some songs have messages that are inappropriate for those of European descent to sing. But yet they still feel comfortable doing so even though Shona people feel this way. So ‘Boom’ is me throwing my first punch at those that still disrespect the music. While I touch on some subjects that personally affect me when they do it. Boom!”

Here is the video for the mixtape’s second track, “Boom”:

 

 

Further Reading

A city divided

Ethnic enclaves are not unusual in many cities and towns across Sudan, but in Port Sudan, this polarized structure instigated and facilitated communal violence.

The imperial forest

Gregg Mitman’s ‘Empire of Rubber’ is less a historical reading of Liberia than a history of America and racial capitalism through the lens of a US corporate giant.

Africa’s next great war

The international community’s limited attention span is laser-focused on jihadism in the Sahel and the imploding Horn of Africa. But interstate war is potentially brewing in the eastern DRC.

The Cape Colony

The campaign to separate South Africa’s Western Cape from the rest of the country is not only a symptom of white privilege, but also of the myth that the province is better run.

Between East Africa and the Gulf

Political encounters between the Arab Gulf and Africa span centuries. Mahmud Traouri’s novel ‘Maymuna’ demonstrates the significant role of a woman’s journey from East Africa to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Āfrīqāyī

It’s not common knowledge that there is Iran in Africa and there is Africa in Iran. But there are commonplace signs of this connection.

It could happen to us

Climate negotiations have repeatedly floundered on the unwillingness of rich countries, but let’s hope their own increasing vulnerability instills greater solidarity.