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

The skeleton in the closet

The novelist Nadifa Mohamed complicates Britain’s troubled, racist legal history through the personal tale of one otherwise insignificant person, a Somali immigrant to Cardiff in Wales.

Life to the sound of gunfire

Nigerians fleeing extremist violence at home take refuge across the border in Niger among an already fragile population. Together they proceed to carve out a way to live better lives for now.

Democraticizing money

Cameroonian economist Joseph Tchundjang Pouemi died in 1984, either poisoned or by suicide. His ideas about the international monetary system and the CFA franc are worth revisiting.