Ladysmith Black Mambazo refutes Mugabe invitation claims

 Ladysmith Black Mambazo

South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo did not perform at Mugabe’s inauguration.

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
22 August 2013

It turns out globally respected South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, did not want any diamonds on the soles of their feet after all.

State media reports on Thursday indicated that Ladysmith Black Mambazo had agreed to perform at President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration, but these reports turned out to be false.

A government website and various media outlets claimed that the all-male a capella ensemble would join other popular international artistes such Congolese rhumba musician Koffie Olomide, Jamaican reggae outfit Black Uhuru, and Ndilimani Cultural Troupe from Namibia, and local musicians at the event.

The report said: “Award winning South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo is expected in Zimbabwe today to join a galaxy of local and regional artistes who will entertain guests at President Mugabe’s inauguration at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.”

The report further quoted the director of urban communications in the Media, Information and Publicity Ministry, Major Anywhere Mutambudzi, who confirmed that the named groups would be entertaining Mugabe’s guests at the grand affair.

But in an emailed response to SW Radio Africa’s enquiry regarding the group’s participation at Mugabe’s ceremony, Ladysmith Black Mambazo expressed ignorance about the event.

“We are not participating in the event. We really don’t know why it was reported that we would. We were never contacted nor did we ever accept any invitation,” the group said.

Jethro Mpofu, a social and political commentator, said Ladysmith are not just known for their entertainment but also for their campaigns against injustice and it would have been shocking for them to endorse ZANU PF’s plea for legitimacy.

“Ladysmith has through their music also raised awareness throughout the world about the suffering and injustices perpetrated against South Africa’s black majority during the apartheid period.”

Mpofu added: “It’s all part of the ZANU PF gimmick to try and gain some semblance of legitimacy by associating themselves with credible, legitimate African voices.”

In the run-up to the July 31st polls, popular South African musician Freddie Gwala, of the Amadamara fame, was heavily criticised after performing at campaign events organised by two ZANU PF heavyweights Obert Mpofu and Tshinga Dube.

Gwala not only chanted ZANU PF slogans but also urged Umguza revellers to vote for Mpofu in what popular playwright Cont Mhlanga described as “unprofessional” and “misguided”.



7 Responsesto “Ladysmith Black Mambazo refutes Mugabe invitation claims”

  1. Tora Bora says:

    What type of propaganda do you expect from a man with the name “Anywhere”?

  2. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    Any African musician has a right to turn down any invitation just like any other musician in any part of the world. For African musician who turns down an invitation by an African country, however, only points to one well known tactic that is employed by the west of being arm twisted or being denied the opportunity to have gigs in well known countries. It follows that it is all about protecting their own nests which could at risk for performing in blacklisted countries. There is no other explanation. Foolish African musicians just like some well known African politicians are at the mercy of the western world and are easily manipulated for political gain. It is a shame.

    • david taylor says:

      The fact is that they were not invited – we do not know whether they would have attended if invited or not.

      What does this have to do with the west?

    • Yepec says:

      You rarely disappoint readers’ expectations. Is the diatribe above true that “There is no other explanation” to the saying of one’s position? One wonders at whose mercy you are given that you consistently exhibit a stranger position? Does any Musician or politician who expresses a free will beholden to someone? Why did Major Anywhere Mutambudzi not consult the group before he made his announcement? Was he coaxing or preempting it to play for the inauguration of Robert Mugabe? Do you leave room for any opinion but yours above?

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        My comments are based on what I have read in the main article above and has not been directed at you. It would have been more interesting if you had said something about the subject matter instead of expending your energies over my views and opinions on the subject under consideration. In case you have already forgotten, the main article was originated by Nomalanga Moyo and not Chimbwido Warvet. If you have issues, you better direct them to her, ok?

  3. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    Because everyone including you wants to be good boys and to be amongst the only chosen children of Almighty God. For some foolish African musicians and politicians, its a curse to be truly black Africans. Some would rather have a fake intonation or paint their faces for the same reason. It is really a shame to lose one’s identity just to further one’s financial interests.

  4. mike hondo says:

    i have seen ladysmith many times over the years and they are very good come over to the uk and play for us again anytime. i will throw away my Black uhuru albums and to be honest they are past there best anyway

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