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Musicians Contribute to Zimbabwe's Freedom
April 20, 2004

As Zimbabwe reflects on 24 years of Independence, it sees in many ways the disappointment of broken promises. We honour the many sons and daughters who died for Zimbabwe. And we mourn that their sacrifice alone was not enough to bring us true freedom.

But it is important to look beyond the dead. And to look at the current proud children of Zimbabwe who make this country vibrant, and who give us hope.

Our musicians are an important part of this hope. They help us to imagine a new world. They help us to feel alive, inspired, motivated, youthful, and excited. Music is such an important part of building confidence, creating solidarity, giving a sense of belonging, inclusion and togetherness.

In order to honour this, Zvakwana compiled an CD of protest songs [Get UP Stand UP: Together] which we think highlights some of the best characteristics of Zimbabwean musicians. We are proud to have included both new and established musicians on this CD. Thousands of Zvakwana activists have received this CD in the post, and it is being played across the country to inspire and motivate young Zimbabweans. This means that many more Zimbabweans are able to learn about and enjoy powerful, confident music like Leonard Zhakata's Hodho and Raymond Majongwe's Telling It Like It Is, even though this music will never receive airtime on the state propaganda stations.

We have received many emails from people thanking us for the album, encouraging us to make Volume 2, and expressing their gratitude that they are able to hear relevant and inspiring local music that has been banned from radio.

Because the album is not for sale, we are confident that the musicians featured will appreciate this as part of their contribution to real freedom in Zimbabwe. They receive the benefit of more and more people knowing about their music, even when they are unable to play it on the national stations or to sell it in some music outlets.

We understand that the pressures of this environment-the fear, the uncertainty and the police brutality, for example, might make some musicians want to publicly distance themselves from controversy. We understand that instinct, but we are working toward the day when no one is afraid to stand up for truth, justice and freedom: when we are each proud to be he-roes and she-roes working for a new Zimbabwe.

We will find that new Zimbabwe if we are inclusive, inspiring and fearless. We must draw from all of our different strengths, join hands together, and sing loudly with one voice: Get UP Stand UP!

Zvakwana is a public participation group encouraging Zimbabweans to Get UP and Stand UP together for their rights. To find out more, or to receive a copy of the Get UP Stand UP CD, contact us on

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