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True Jit

Tayo Popoola looks at the changing face of the Zimbabwean music scene since the fall of Robert Mugabe.

Tayo Popoola looks at the changing face of the Zimbabwean music scene since the fall of Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwean musicians had been largely silenced by the reign of Mugabe. Internationally renowned performers like Thomas Mapfumo and Lovemore Najaivama were banned by state TV and radio for their socially minded lyrics and their opposition to Government corruption. Night curfews meant that many music venues were forced to close.

Now Mapfumo, known as "the lion of Zimbabwe", has announced his return from exile later this year, and musicians are feeling free to express themselves.

In Bulawayo, musical styles like Sungura and Jit, which placed Zimbabwe at the centre of the African music scene in the 1980s, are being revived. They are irrepressibly upbeat, encapsulate the joyous period immediately after independence, and are playing to new audiences.

Tayo Popoola assesses the mood of the Zimbabwean music scene as it emerges into the light.

Producer: David Prest
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

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28 minutes

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