A Music Genre Grows in Zimbabwe, Fueled by Rage Against Authority

CreditCreditZinyange Auntony for The New York Times

By Sept. 7, 2019

HARARE, Zimbabwe — First came the bottles, then the cans. Before Winky D had even stepped onto the stage, the crowd was pelting him with garbage, forcing the Zimbabwean singer to escape to his car. It was Christmas Eve, and the gig was over before it had even begun.

The attackers were never caught and their motives never clarified. But two other performers said the assailants had arrived in cars belonging to the party of President Emmerson D. Mnangagwa. And the assault late last year was seen as an attempt to cow, censor and punish an artist whose most recent single had been claimed as an anthem by Mr. Mnangagwa’s opponents.

Winky D's song, "KaSong Jejecha", which incorporated a slogan first used by an opposition leader.

Zimbabwe has been on a downward trajectory since the fall of Robert Mugabe, who was replaced by Mr. Mnangagwa in a coup in November 2017, and after months in Singapore for medical treatments, died on Friday at the age of 95.

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