Artistes gear up for President’s birthday

Tafadzwa Zimoyo Entertainment Reporter—
It is less than two weeks before President Mugabe’s 91st birthday celebrations and artistes continue releasing congratulatory songs while fashion designers have also brought their creativity to the party. Some of the songs are already being played on national television and radio. Kadoma-based dancehall/chimurenga outfit “Offspring of Land” have joined the celebrations and released a video of the birthday song dubbed, “Happy Birthday”.

Speaking to Herald Entertainment, lead singer of the crew Mandla Dube said this is their third year releasing such videos for the President.

“We are now regulars on national television and radio especially on events like this. To us this is our birthday gift as youths because we believe the great man deserves more. We might not have a chance to sing at the birthday celebrations but through having regular, we have faith that somehow the President had the feel of our songs,” he said.

He said their birthday songs are theme-based.

“When we started this project we worked with the theme for the year. We don’t forget about the liberation struggle because it is why we are here. Our videos are low budget because we will be racing against time but the quality is good,” he said.

Dube said he has done other projects besides the President’s birthday songs.

“I am patriotic, always loyal to the game. This is not the first and only project we have done as we also sang at the ZANU-PF Congress and had an album called ‘Kubatana MaZimbabwe’ which emphasized unity and how as youths especially we can develop the country. We should not always complain that we have failed this or that yet alone we haven’t done anything. I thank the President for the opportunity he is giving to us youths,” he said.

Some of the albums under their name include “Nguva Yekutenda” and “Kubatana MaZimbabwe”.

Dube said his role model is Clive Malunga.

“I adore Cde Chinx Chingaira and Born Free Crew whose vision is centred on patriotism but when it comes to my passion for music, Clive Malunga is my source of inspiration,” he said.

He cited lack of exposure as a major setback in their music.

“If you check closely promoters are only rushing for artistes in the big cities such as Mutare, Harare and Bulawayo. Little is known about Kadoma. I urge the corporate world to support us fully and treat us equally. Even the media should also accommodate us too,” he said.

Meanwhile, a young designer has come up with a T-shirt that narrates the President’s journey through the years capturing the history surrounding the iconic leader.

Xenophon Tome-Garan’anga says he has been a designer for the past four years and started with the Bob 89 theme that he claims was hijacked by unnamed individuals. With the Bob 91 concept, the young designer said that it should not be viewed as a mere T-shirt but a history catalogue that tells the story of the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

“I have always looked up to President Mugabe who inspired me from a very early age. As I grew up in Norton, our house was along the highway and I used to wave at the Presidential convoy as it passed by. In time, I began attending 21st February Movement celebrations to mark the President’s birthday. He will forever be my role model and I could not think of any better way to honour him.”

Under the number nine in the design, the President is captured in nine photographs showing his youth before he started wearing spectacles and also has the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe, in the middle and in the adjacent one it captures his later days in life dominated by national politics.

Xenophon believes that there is scope for growth in spreading the merchandise which could be used as an empowerment tool for the youths as they were associated with such national events as the President’s birthday that is celebrated on February 21.

This year’s celebrations will be held next Saturday in Victoria Falls where a number of activities have been lined up.