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Music

Thomas Mapfumo 2: The Mugabe Years

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Fri. 2/8 10p: This Hip Deep episode picks up the story of Zimbabwe's most consequential popular singer in 1980, when the country celebrated its independence from white colonial rule. 

The "Chimurenga guru" moves beyond the triumphs and controversies of the liberation war, and evolves over the next decade from being a booster for the new regime, to one of its most vocal critics. We hear the crucial songs in this evolution, and Mapfumo himself speaking about what they meant.

Historian Mhoze Chikowero and Mapfumo biographer Banning Eyre add context, as do the voices of Mapfumo's collaborators and fellow artists.

The program brings the Mapfumo saga up to date, covering his years of exile in the United States, and his most recent, still rebellious, music, which brings a worldly perspective to the ongoing story of a troubled African nation.