Freshlyground Wants To Perform In Zimbabwe Again
The Cape Town based multi- national band whose members come from Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe says its video was not mearnt to mock President Robert Mugabe but to appeal to his conscience and bring about change in his country.
Freshlyground lead singer, the energetic Zolani Mahola spoke to Radio VOP recently about the video, their banned show in Harare and their love for Zimbabwe and its people. Zolani says although they expected a response from the Harare government after releasing the video,they did not expect the immigration department to revock their working visas.
The band was scheduled to perform in Harare during the first weekend of October.
‘ We don’t know whether we will be able to go and perform there again but we wont give up on our fans in Zimbabwe.We have a large following in the country, said Zolani.The young music sensation is often mobbed by both black and white fans whenever she ventures onto the streets of Cape Town.
The video that got them into trouble with President Mugabe,s men satirises a latex puppet version of the ageing Zimbabwean leader as he crosses his fingers while taking the oath of office.Mugabe swears to be faithful to Zimbabwe and observe his country,s laws.As he leaves the ceremony in a chauffeured car, the moustachioed puppet which looks exactly like Bob-as Mugabe is often called, reads a newspaper called Bob Times.The paper has a banner headline proclaiming another of Mugabe,s election victories.In the video, Zolani and her band members are seen dancing like chickens in a shebeen.Her lyrics of the music video describe Mugabe as a supernova.Zolani tells me that when they wrote the video,s lyrics, she was not even aware the cock was Mugabe,s party symbol.
“ It was just a co incidence for us to give it the name chicken to change, says Zolani.Part of the song,s lyrics go like this “you promised always to open the doors for us.Indeed it is you and only you who sleeps with the key.You are chicken to change.”As Mugabe,s car stops, he notices a couple clutching a chicken.He looks outside his window but he ignores the couple and drives on still reading Bob Times.
Zolani says because of their love for the people of Zimbabwe, they could not continue ignoring events in the country once known as the bread basket of Africa.Many years of economic mismanagement by Mugabe has turned the country into a basket case.
‘Even if we were banned by the government from performing in Harare, it was worth the risk.But we are still trying to get there and we will try and apply again, she adds.The band has a busy schedule.As I was speaking to Zolani, the band was busy rehearsing for a show in Namibia.
The video “chicken to change” was filmed in Cape Town with band members dressed in the Zimbabwean 1980,s fashion and style.