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Writing in the first person, the author describes a night at a Thomas Mapfumo show in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1997. The account introduces key members of Mapfumo’s band, the Blacks Unlimited, and presents the broad outlines of Mapfumo’s story. The author describes the sacred Shona musical instrument, the mbira, which plays an important role when it is adapted in Mapfumo’s secular music. The concert described in these pages takes place at a pivotal moment when Mapfumo is beginning to openly criticize the regime of President Robert Mugabe. As such, this account prefigures the arc of the narrative to come. This account also clarifies the personal nature of the author’s friendship and musical collaboration with Mapfumo.

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Bibliography

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. Edited by
Thomas
Norman E.
.
Nashville, TN
:
Abingdon
,
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.
Parkenham
,
Thomas
.
The Scramble for Africa: The White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912
.
New York
:
Random House
,
1991
.
Pollan
,
Michael
.
The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s- Eye View of the World
.
New York
:
Random House
,
2002
.
Pongweni
,
Alec J. C.
Songs That Won the Liberation War
.
Harare
:
College Press
,
1982
.
Ranger
,
Terence
.
Are We Not Also Men? The Samkange Family and African Politics in Zimbabwe 1920–64
.
Portsmouth, NH
:
Heinemann
,
1995
.
Ranger
,
Terence
. “
The Death of Chaminuka: Spirit Mediums, Nationalism, and the Guerrilla War in Zimbabwe
.”
African Affairs
81
, no.
324
(
1982
):
349
69
.
Steffens
,
Roger
. “
Zimbabwe Victorious: Bob Marley’s African Triumph, I-Witness Dera Tomkins
.”
Beat
17
, no.
3
(
1998
):
48
55
.
Thomas
,
Anthony
.
Rhodes: The Race for Africa
.
Harare
:
African Publishing House
,
1996
.
Turino
,
Thomas
.
Nationalists, Cosmopolitans, and Popular Music in Zimbabwe
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
2000
.
Vambe
,
Maurice Taonezvi
. “
Popular Songs and Social Realities in Post-Independence Zimbabwe
.”
African Studies Review
43
, no.
2
(
2000
):
73
86
.
Vambe
,
Maurice Taonezvi
. “
Thomas Mapfumo’s ‘Toi Toi’ in Context: Popular Music as Narrative Discourse
.”
African Identities
2
, no.
1
(
2001
):
89
112
.
Vambe
,
Maurice Taonezvi
. “
Versions and Sub-versions: Trends in Chimurenga Musical Discourses of Post-Independence Zimbabwe
.”
African Study Monographs
25
, no.
4
(
2004
):
167
93
.
White
,
Timothy
.
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. Rev. ed.
New York
:
Henry Holt
,
1989
.
Zimmer
,
Lynn
, and
Morgan
John P.
.
Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence
.
New York
:
Lindesmith Center
,
1997
.
Zindi
,
Fred
.
Roots Rocking in Zimbabwe
.
Harare
:
Mambo Press
,
1985
.
Zindi
,
Fred
. “
Thomas Mapfumo: A Cultural Ambassador?
Southern Africa Monthly
6
, nos.
3 and 4
(
1992–93
):
11
12
.

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References

Bibliography

Bibliography
Anderson
,
Ian
. “
Zimbabwe Gold: Ian Anderson on the Folk Roots of Thomas Mapfumo
.”
Folk Roots
, no.
28
(
October
1985
):
28
31
.
Beach
,
D. N.
A Zimbabwean Past: Shona Dynastic Histories and Oral Tradition
.
Gweru, Zimbabwe
:
Mambo Press
,
1994
.
Beach
,
David
.
The Shona and Their Neighbors
.
Oxford
:
Blackwell
,
1994
.
Berliner
,
Paul F.
The Soul of Mbira: Music and Traditions of the Shona People of Zimbabwe
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
1978
.
Blair
,
David
.
Degrees in Violence: Robert Mugabe and the Struggle for Power in Zimbabwe
.
London
:
Continuum
,
2002
.
Cary
,
Robert
, and
Mitchell
Diana
.
African Nationalist Leaders in Rhodesia: Who’s Who
.
Johannesburg
:
Africana Book Society
,
1977
.
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe
.
Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace: A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980 to 1988. Summary Report
.
Harare
:
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, Legal Resources Foundation
,
1999
.
Chan
,
Stephen
.
Robert Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence
.
Ann Arbor
:
University of Michigan Press
,
2003
.
Chigwedere
,
A. S.
From Mutapa to Rhodes: 1000 to 1890 A.D
.
London
:
Macmillan
,
1980
.
Ellert
,
H.
The Rhodesian Front War: Counter-insurgency and Guerrilla Warfare, 1962–1980
. Rev. ed.
Harare
:
Mambo Press
,
1993
.
Eyre
,
Banning
.
Playing with Fire: Fear and Self-Censorship in Zimbabwean Music
.
Copenhagen
:
Freemuse
,
2001
.
Frederikse
,
Julie
.
None But Ourselves: Masses vs. Media in the Making of Zimbabwe
.
Harare
:
Anvil Press
,
1982
.
Gelfand
,
Michael
.
Growing Up in Shona Society: From Birth to Marriage
.
Harare
:
Mambo Press
,
1992
.
Gelfand
,
M.
,
Mavi
S.
,
Drummond
R. B.
, and
Ndemera
B.
.
The Traditional Medical Practitioner in Zimbabwe
.
Harare
:
Mambo Press
,
1993
.
General History of Africa. Vol. 2, Ancient Civilizations of Africa
. Edited by
Mokhtar
G.
.
London
:
Heinemann
;
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
;
Paris
:
UNESCO
,
1981
.
General History of Africa. Vol. 3, Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century
. Edited by
Elfasi
M.
and
Hrbek
I.
.
London
:
Heinemann
;
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
;
Paris
:
UNESCO
,
1988
.
Godwin
,
Peter
, and
Hancock
Ian
.
“Rhodesians Never Die”: The Impact of War and Change on White Rhodesia, c. 1970–1980
.
Harare
:
Baobab Books
,
1993
.
Grinspoon
,
Lester
,
Marihuana Reconsidered
. 2nd ed.
Oakland, CA
:
Quick American Archives
,
1996
.
Hamdun
,
Said
, and
King
Noël
.
Ibn Battuta in Black Africa
.
Princeton, NJ
:
Markus Wiener
,
1994
.
Holland
,
Heidi
.
Dinner with Mugabe: The Untold Story of a Freedom Fighter Who Became a Tyrant
.
Johannesburg
:
Penguin
,
2008
.
Kadhani
,
Mudereri
, and
Zimunya
Musamura
, eds.
And Now the Poets Speak
.
Harare
:
Mambo Press
,
1997
.
Kanengoni
,
Alexander
.
Echoing Silences
.
Oxford
:
Heinemann
,
1997
.
Kwaramba
,
Alice Dadirai
.
Popular Music and Society: The Language of Protest in Chimurenga Music: The Case of Thomas Mapfumo in Zimbabwe
.
IMK Report No. 24
.
Oslo
:
University of Oslo, Department of Media Communication
,
1997
.
Kyker
,
Jennifer W.
‘What Shall We Do?’: Oliver Mtukudzi’s Songs about HIV/AIDS
.” In
The Culture of aids: Hope and Healing through the Arts in Africa
, edited by
Barz
Gregory
and
Cohen
Judah
,
241
55
.
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
2011
.
Lan
,
David
.
Guns and Rain: Guerrillas and Spirit Mediums in Zimbabwe
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
1985
.
Murray
,
Stephen O.
, and
Roscoe
Will
, eds.
Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies of African Homosexualities
.
New York
:
St. Martin’s Press
,
1998
.
Muzorewa
,
Abel Tendekai
.
Rise Up and Walk: The Autobiography of Bishop Abel Tendekai Muzorewa
. Edited by
Thomas
Norman E.
.
Nashville, TN
:
Abingdon
,
1978
.
Parkenham
,
Thomas
.
The Scramble for Africa: The White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912
.
New York
:
Random House
,
1991
.
Pollan
,
Michael
.
The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s- Eye View of the World
.
New York
:
Random House
,
2002
.
Pongweni
,
Alec J. C.
Songs That Won the Liberation War
.
Harare
:
College Press
,
1982
.
Ranger
,
Terence
.
Are We Not Also Men? The Samkange Family and African Politics in Zimbabwe 1920–64
.
Portsmouth, NH
:
Heinemann
,
1995
.
Ranger
,
Terence
. “
The Death of Chaminuka: Spirit Mediums, Nationalism, and the Guerrilla War in Zimbabwe
.”
African Affairs
81
, no.
324
(
1982
):
349
69
.
Steffens
,
Roger
. “
Zimbabwe Victorious: Bob Marley’s African Triumph, I-Witness Dera Tomkins
.”
Beat
17
, no.
3
(
1998
):
48
55
.
Thomas
,
Anthony
.
Rhodes: The Race for Africa
.
Harare
:
African Publishing House
,
1996
.
Turino
,
Thomas
.
Nationalists, Cosmopolitans, and Popular Music in Zimbabwe
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
2000
.
Vambe
,
Maurice Taonezvi
. “
Popular Songs and Social Realities in Post-Independence Zimbabwe
.”
African Studies Review
43
, no.
2
(
2000
):
73
86
.
Vambe
,
Maurice Taonezvi
. “
Thomas Mapfumo’s ‘Toi Toi’ in Context: Popular Music as Narrative Discourse
.”
African Identities
2
, no.
1
(
2001
):
89
112
.
Vambe
,
Maurice Taonezvi
. “
Versions and Sub-versions: Trends in Chimurenga Musical Discourses of Post-Independence Zimbabwe
.”
African Study Monographs
25
, no.
4
(
2004
):
167
93
.
White
,
Timothy
.
Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley
. Rev. ed.
New York
:
Henry Holt
,
1989
.
Zimmer
,
Lynn
, and
Morgan
John P.
.
Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence
.
New York
:
Lindesmith Center
,
1997
.
Zindi
,
Fred
.
Roots Rocking in Zimbabwe
.
Harare
:
Mambo Press
,
1985
.
Zindi
,
Fred
. “
Thomas Mapfumo: A Cultural Ambassador?
Southern Africa Monthly
6
, nos.
3 and 4
(
1992–93
):
11
12
.
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