Liberation war singer, Dick Chingaira aka Cde Chinx has torched a storm by claiming that musicians who were based in the country in the 1970s and used satirical lyrics did not inspire young Zimbabweans to cross the borders and join the liberation struggle.
Cde Chinx said youths who joined the struggle were instead inspired by hard hitting songs aired on the then Voice of Zimbabwe and composed by cadres taking part in the struggle.
He said the revolutionary songs that were sung in Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania, and aired on the then Voice of Zimbabwe had hard hitting lyrics which belittled the imperialists while predicting victory for liberation fighters.
Cde Chinx poured cold water on suggestions that satirical songs which were composed by musicians who were based in the country inspired youths to go and take up arms, arguing that it was difficult for people to understand the so called hidden messages.
â€œI have often said that the songs we sung while outside the country are the ones that inspired youths to go to war. The message in these other artistsâ€™ songs was not very clear, and the songs were also used by the coloniser. Our message was clear and straightforward, it was the real message. This is why I have often said Thomas Mapfumo did not contribute to the liberation struggle,â€ said Cde Chinx.
The songs composed by musicians who were within the then Rhodesia, and which were thought to have inspired cadres were Hangaiwa Dzemusango by Zexie Manatsa and Thomas Mapfumoâ€™s Tumirai vana Kuhondo, among others.
Cde Chinx became the leader of Takawira Choir, which then became the ZANLA Choir, a morale booster for the fighting cadres.
It is this music that became a favourite for the liberation war fighters.
At Independence in 1980, Cde Chinx became the leader of the Peopleâ€™s Choir that was an amalgamation of all choirs which had been active during the war.
Choirs at the time were regarded as too radical by recording studios that were there and this forced Cde Chinx to change into contemporary music.
His song Vanhu Vese Vemuno Mu Africa scooped the Silver Jubilee Award for the most inspiring song of the liberation war during the 2005 National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA).