Zimdancehall Artists: Vehicles to spread Political and Economic message


By Tatenda ‘Gando’ Choto

In a bid to enhance freedom of expression and communication rights, Chitownews collaborated with local Zimdancehall artists in Chitungwiza and produced musical songs to amplify the voices of the marginalized young people.

In Chitungwiza and Zimbabwe in general, the voices of most youths are under manipulation due to the political environment which does not create space for full democratic practices therefore Chitownews had to combine its resources with the ultimate talent of local artists.

Artists who featured in the explosive riddim produced by Critical include dancehall sensational Dadza Dee, Scada Tee, Badfire, Eagle Eye and Junior Chaplin whom stood the top of the game during their recording.

Critical said that the type of the artists whom he was working with during production had the best of talent and content in promoting communication rights and freedom of expression.

“Working with artists of such calibre enhances that the message is being delivered to the target group. At times art has to be deliberated towards social and political change as it is the easiest way to reach a wide audience and emancipate society,” said Critical.

The riddim which carries the title ‘Chitownews riddim’ has the message that brings social impact towards the youth especially in this political and economic shrinking environment that does not support youth participation. Describing the political and economic circumstances has proved easy through art especially through Zimdancehall, a musical genre that has emerged to unleash different discourses of life and the practical way to address them.

Mr Admire Mutize, the Coordinator of Chitownews said that music is a dynamic art that can be appreciated by different people in a different way.

“Music is played anywhere so whether one applies attentive listening or not the message will serve the ears until it reaches the target audience. Nowadays the youth have little time for political and economic news either by digital or print therefore as Chitownews we found it easy to convey the message through the most attended piece of communication in Zimbabwe which is music”, said Mr Mutize.

Junior Chaplin said that it was much simpler to explain the ups and downs brought about by the political and economic situations through music than talking about it over and over again

“My music is my advocate; it speaks my mind in a way that satisfy my feelings in challenging the burdens that I am experiencing,” said Junior Chaplin

“Youths have problems but they waste much of their time talking about them over and over again at street corners, social and economic activities but to nobody’s attention which sometimes brings frustration and even desperation. This channel leads to a vicious predicament to most youths who will end up engaging in massive drug abuse, prostitution and crime therefore platforms of communication like Chitownews give us (youths) a chance to air out our views not only locally but to the rest of the world,” added Junior Chaplin.

Miss Magaret Chogugudza, the Information Officer of Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN), thinks that youths need freedom to exercise their rights and uplift their standards of living.

“Youths need freedom to exercise their democratic right and avoid social, economic and political cancers which drive present and future generations to muddy situations that exacerbate their suffering,” said Mrs Margaret Chogugudza.

“If youths are allowed to express their views pertaining the circumstances they are involved, then the lines of intervention would have been drawn to minimise the damage. Therefore through music they make their voice heard and taken into consideration by the city fathers and political leadership in addressing their challenges.”