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Portrayal of Zimbabwe’s Socio-Economic Struggles through Winky D’s Zimdancehall Soundscape

Wonder Maguraushe, Richard Muranda and Weston Chimbudzi


Published: 2022/12/01


The paper exposes tinges of protest, dissent and impatience that have characterised the growth of Zimdancehall music into a Zimbabwean popular music genre. We purposively sampled 6 songs by Winky D and did a textual analysis to show how they are laced with implicit political protest words voicing the concerns of the subaltern. The analysis reveals nuances of dissent and political imagery embedded in the musician’s lyrics. The paper shows that Zimdancehall music is largely popular in urban and rural centres amongst jobless ghetto youths. In Zimbabwe’s fledgling economy these frustrated youths find themselves idle on the street corners and identify with the protest and rebelliousness embedded in the Zimdancehall music genre. The relationship between Zimdancehall musicians and their youthful audiences has proven to be strong. Youths make up 67% of the total population in Zimbabwe, which is a significant number to influence the popularity of this music genre. From a postcolonial perspective, we argue that to some extent music can measure Zimbabwe’s per capita anxiety and gross domestic happiness. The socio-economic challenges bedevilling the marginalised section of society that are expressed through Winky D’s Zimdancehall music in a country that is politically polarised and economically unstable are just one example. Keywords: Dissent, Ghetto youths, Impatience, Popular music, Protest,

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