The Grammy Awards Finally Recognize Zimbabwe’s Chimurenga Icon – Thomas Mapfumo
The iconic Chimurenga music genre, popularized by Thomas Mapfumo, has been included in the list of African genres for Grammy Awards. Chimurenga genre will be considered for the newly-introduced Best African Music Performance category in the 66th Awards. The new category will also feature other African genres such as Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, Afro Pop, Alte, Amapiano, Bongo Flava, Genge, Kizomba, High Life, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian Drill, Afro-House, South African Hip-Hop, and Ethio Jazz.
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Zimbabwean Artists Encouraged To Appeal To International Audiences
Fred Zindi, a Zimbabwean arts critic, musician, academic, and author, expressed his excitement about the inclusion of Chimurenga music in the Grammy Awards.
According to Newsday, he stated that “Local music has been recognised internationally from way back in the 1980s when Chimurenga guru Thomas Mapfumo performed in Europe and the United States, The Bhundu Boys sold Jit-Jive to the world and John Chibadura and Devera Ngwena were also on the international stage.” He further added that Zimbabwean musicians need to appeal to more international audiences to gain recognition.
Hope for Zimbabwean Artists
The inclusion of Chimurenga music in the Grammy Awards has given hope to Zimbabwean artists to perfect their act and come up with an undiluted sound that does not distance them from the sounds of home. However, the Grammy Awards have been accused of racial bias over the years in the way they dish out their awards. Only a handful of African, African American, and Latin American artists have won the Grammy Awards.
Arts Critic Urges Zimbabwean Artists to Follow Nigerian Model for Success
The new categories were welcomed by Zindi, who said that Africans such as Burna Boy, Davido, and P Square have already climbed international dizzy heights. The addition of more African categories to the Grammys is a welcome gesture. He added that Zimbabweans need to promote themselves like the Nigerians do with Afro-Beat to get the recognition they deserve.