Zimbabwe may have fallen into the abyss, its people may be starving, its infrastructure has collapsed but everything is okay: president-for-life, turned Sun King, Robert Mugabe, has recorded a pop song that will surely raise the morale of a beleaguered nation. Well not quite- Mugabe’s voice has been sampled on a record called "Beitbridge" by Nonsikelelo (Nonsi).
According to Zim Online Nonsi is a popular supporter of government propaganda. The song, arranged in Zimbabwean pop style, features Nonsi’s singing lines such as: “Come to Zimbabwe and see the city of Beitbridge . . . our beautiful city . . . a symbol of a lovely country . . . the future of our children lies in our hands...” Mugabe provides the chorus: “Pamberi neBeitbridge (forward with Beitbridge) . . . nekuvaka Beitbridge (forward with developing Beitbridge) . . . kudya kuBeitbridge (food to the people of Beitbridge)... Dhorobha redu iri hatidi kuti murambe muri shure richisekwa, aiwa. Takazvipira kuti Beitbridge tiisimudzire isvike pamusoro (we don’t want Beitbridge to lag in development. We are committed to the development of Beitbridge)…”
The song is being played with “nauseating frequency” on all stations in Zimbabwe. An announcer at ZBC, who cannot be named, told Zim Online : “That one (Beitbridge) is being treated by bosses here (ZBC) as second only to the national anthem. They are so crazy about the recording and we play it at least twice in every hour. And that’s an order by the way; it’s not by choice because no sane presenter would play that kind of stuff that talks about giving food to the people of Beitbridge when everyone knows there is no food to give. It’s being spiteful; it’s sick, immoral, insensitive and ill-timed.”
Although it has reached the lower reaches of the Zimbabwe top 20, most people see it for what it is: an ugly propaganda piece created in a pointless attempt to endear Mugabe with Zimbabwe’s opposition southern regions. The sooner that Mugabe dies or is deposed, the better.