- Zimbabweans had to take several seats and loads of popcorn as contemporary musician Jah Prayzah and MDC-A activist Hopewell Chin'ono laid into each other in public...
By Keith Mlauzi
TOP musician Jah Prayzah’s tweet in response to Larry Moyo’s Throw back Thursday of Zim dancehall chanter Souljah Love being reduced to nothing at a Zanu PF rally, has sparked a lot of discussion online on why Jah Prazah has always been quiet about the “Zimbabwean crisis”.
Outspoken journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who is an MDC Alliance activist, shot at the musician comparing him to Bob Marley and Oliver Mtukudzi who have played at political rallies but still provoked leaders and spoke about the prevailing crisis of the time.
Responding to Larry Moyo’s tweet Jah Prayzah said, “They would have threatened you that if you don’t come and perform at our rally you will never perform in Zimbabwe again.”
In response to this, journalist Hopewell said, “There is vast difference between what Tuku and Bob Marley did, and what Jah Prayzah (JP) and Sandra Ndebele do. So (PJ) sings Kutonga Kwaro in the face of injustices and corruption.
“He could have written Kutonga Kwaro for other reasons, but he allowed it to be appropriated by the regime.”
Chin’ono continued: “JP and Sandra’s music ululates the dictatorship with Kutonga Kwaro being seen as a sound track to Mnangagwa’s evil rule by the critical thinking citizen!”
Going deep into the matter Chin’ono said that no musician is forced to pen songs for Presidents or later on perform for them, but the musicians do so for money.
“The truth is nobody is forced to pen songs for Mnangagwa or to pay for him, they do so because they want to, and for dollar bills,” reads Chin’ono’s long response to Jah Prayzah.
Jah Prayzah, the Kutonga Kwaro hit maker did not take Chin’ono’s criticism lightly as he would have loved it to be a more private matter.
In response to Chin’ono Jah Prayzah said, “What’s sad is that Hopewell, you have my personal number. You know the door to my office and studio, you have been there before. I do not remember receiving your call if you were concerned that I sing politics.
“You’ve’ never asked how I come up with my songs and their meanings, never a single day. But you are here giving me advice on twitter for love and retweets.”
Concluding his response Jah Prayzah said he will not participate in the thread that has since gone viral.
“I decline to participate in this thread, but God bless you,” said JP. But it seems the mention of “tweets and retweets” got Chin’ono where it hurts the most.
Refusing to back down, Chin’ono went on JP full force telling him he would not make public matters private hence this issue was a public discussion that had to be dealt with publicly.
“Yes I have your number, yes I have been to your office, but that doesn’t take away the need for us to have a public debate. This debate started when I was in prison it means this has become a national debate which both you and I can’t privatize!” he said.
“I have publicly critiqued and criticized greats like Tuku and (Thomas) Mapfumo and they graciously engaged with the understanding that as public figures, they would be critiqued. They never accused me of doing so for likes and retweets,” said Chin’ono in his concluding statement. – Zimbabwe Voice ■