Thomas Mapfumo

Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo (born 1945) is a Zimbabwean musician known as "The Lion of Zimbabwe" and "Mukanya" for his immense popularity and for the political influence he wields through his music, including his sharp criticism of the government of President Robert Mugabe. He both created and made popular Chimurenga music and his slow-moving style and distinctive voice is instantly recognizable to Zimbabweans. He now lives in exile in the United States, although he occasionally returns to Zimbabwe. Mapfumo was born in 1945 in Marondera, Mashonaland East, a town southeast of Harare the capital of Zimbabwe. He lived a traditional, rural Shona lifestyle until the age of ten, when his family moved to the Harare township of Mbare. He joined his first band, the Zutu Brothers (Encyclopædia Britannica says it was the Cyclones), as a singer at the age of 16. From then he was always in one band or another, sometimes doing odd jobs on the side as well, including chicken farming. Hence the name of his 1972 band, the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band.

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