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Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

On-line version ISSN 2309-9070
Print version ISSN 0041-476X


TIVENGA, Doreen Rumbidzai. Contemporary Zimbabwean popular music in the context of adversities. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2018, vol.55, n.1, pp.134-148. ISSN 2309-9070.

Contemporary Zimbabwean popular and urban genres of music namely, urban grooves and its variant Zimdancehall emerged and continue to exist at a time when the country is grappling with socio-economic and political adversities. The music has become part and parcel of crucial artistic forms and artistic dissent. Ordinary Zimbabweans bear the brunt of the economic hardship, and some musicians play a significant role in detailing their experiences, survival strategies as well as influencing their patterns of entertainment and daily cultural practices. This article which is informed by popular culture theorists such as Karin Barber and John Fiske focuses on Winky D's album Gafa Life Kickstape (2015). His songs "Disappear", "Copyrights" and "Survivor" are examined with reference to their creative potential and their referencing of the survival strategies of ordinary Zimbabweans. In addition, the paper explores his music as a source of power in fostering a response that resonates with urban youth cultural activism. It is found that Winky D's music seeks to empower the Zimbabweans to make "all the crosses to disappear," to transcend their adversities and take control of their destinies in a country where the ruling elite are failing to improve the nation's socio-economic conditions.

Keywords : ghetto youth; popular music; popular resistance; Winky D; Zimbabwe urban grooves music.

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