IASPM International Conferences - Proceedings, Situating Popular Musics

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"Your silence can seriously damage someone's health": Getting Zimbabwe protest songs heard
Diana Blom, Caroline van Niekerk, Richard Muranda

Last modified: 2013-01-22

Abstract


It is not until the 1970s and 1980s that popular music becomes the medium for the message in the protest songs of Zimbabweans. The protest song becomes a voice for many who suffer in silence because they cannot speak up against what is going on – what is called mubikira. This article discusses how two recent popular protest songs about the ongoing political, social and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe disseminate their message through lyrics, musical style and the media and technology, engaging with Street's (2006) distinction between music which intends to be political and music in which the politics derive from the interpretation.

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