Thomas Mapfumo grew up herding goats and cattle in on the grassy plains of what was then southern Rhodesia. He learned the songs of his grandparents far from the race war that was stirring up in the capital.
A born musician, he moved to the city and discovered 50’s rock and roll. The fight against colonial rule heated up and Mapfumo gave up the Elvis covers to help sing the soundtrack of the struggle for the new African state of Zimbabwe. But the man called The Lion of Zimbabwe kept his eye on politics.
When Robert Mugabe dissolved his opposition, Mapfumo sang about corruption and established himself as a voice of conscience. Now Mugabe is in absolute power with a country in shambles and 10,000 arrested just last week. The Lion, Mapfumo lives in exile. Still making music. Still roaring.
Thomas Mapfumo, musician , aka, The Lion of Zimbabwe
Keith Farquharson , music producer for SW Radio, the Currently Jammed Independent voice of Zimbabwe