Thomas Mapfumo – The Lion of Zimbabwe – Podcast 10

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Thomas Mapfumo - Photo by George Estreich

Thomas Mapfumo, of Zimbabwe, is a revolutionary musician in every sense of the word.  Musically, his band was one of the first to experiment with combining the mbira (thumb piano) and electric guitars and he was the first to put his own lyrics to traditional Shona melodies.  Politically,  these songs became the anthems of the freedom fighters during White minority rule.

When the revolution succeeded and Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, he continued to be a gadfly.  He questioned the integrity of Robert Mugabe and the current government.  He now lives in exile and while immensely popular his music is banned in the country where he is most beloved.