Jah Seed "No Retreat No Surrender"

THE ZIMBABWEAN - Anesu Mupemhi, better known in music circles as Jah Seed, has taken his gloves off and is addressing Zimbabwean political issues in his music. The reggae-fied crooner who is part of the award winning group Bongo Maffin has released his first solo album, No Retreat No Surrender. The album is a true reflection of life for the struggling Zimbabweans. In his true and customary fashion Jah Seed mixes his thought provoking lyrics with his familiar throbbing reggae beats to create a musical creation.

In No Retreat No Surrender, the dreadlocked musician chronicles the history of Zimbabwe, warning present day corrupt politicians not to mortgage the country's natural resources and shed blood unnecessarily. In his song Pfuma Inengozi, Jah Seed tries to forewarn politicians not to sell diamonds illicitly and pocket the money. He encourages the proper investment of money coming from the sale of diamonds into public services such as buying water treatment chemicals and road construction.
"Pfuma yaNehanda inengozi, musaitambise, ropa revana vaNehanda rinengozi," said Jah Seed in the song, in a veiled reference to Zanu (PF) politicians who have parcelled out among themselves diamond mining claims in Chiadzwa.
"Vamwe vanoti takapihwa pendi nhema yehurombo ivo vakatsika ngoda, hona ngoda dziya zodzoperera kunze kwenyika musati matenga mushonga weku geza mvura, dai matenga soda musati masvoda."
In yet another direct attack on Harare politicians, he also took a swipe at the politicians who buy expensive German cars but fail to build better roads on which to drive them.
"Kana vodriver mota dzekunze kwenyika voita sevanoteta, ko gadziraika road dzacho mudzimhanyise," said Jah Seed.
In the song Hakuna Ipwa, Jah Seed sings about the challenges of people living in a foreign country. Seed talks from experience.
In 2002, he was deported back to Zimbabwe after a misunderstanding with the Department of Home Affairs. He expressed concern about the xenophobia rumours and said it was up to the leaders and the media to educate people on why some people flee their countries in search of a better life.
The musician said when South Africans lived in Zimbabwe during the struggle, the local people welcomed them with open arms. And again in the emotive Pfuma Inengozi questions why some people continue to get rich while the majority gets poor.
"When criminals and corrupt people are glorified, it defeats the purpose and vision that people had," said the musician. "We grew up being told to go to school, but when people with education don't get jobs it defeats the purpose when criminals are seen as better people."
"If the people on the top don't change what's happening on the ground, the ground will end up changing what's happening at the top. It's like a chemical reaction," he said.
Other songs on the album include How come, Hakuna nyika and Mwari muriritiri
The album also featured South African backing vocalist Thandiswa Mazwai and Zonke Dikana. Some of the best known musical talents such as Jairos Hambahamba, Otis Fraser and Oskido also participated in its production. It was recorded at his house in the Kensington suburb in Johannesburg.

Mungwadzi Godwin

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