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Winky D is being targeted by police in Zimbabwe – Does his voice matter?

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Winky D is a 40-year-old Zimdancehall musician who has gained immense popularity in Zimbabwe. His music has been making headlines due to the messages it carries, some of which call attention to social injustice and corruption in a regime that suppresses freedom of expression. Unfortunately, Winky D has faced threats of music bans and claims that his life is in danger due to his bold stance.

During a concert held on March 4, 2023, in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, police forcibly removed Winky D from the stage after performing his latest hit, ‘Ibotso,’ from his album, Eureka Eureka. Videos circulating online show the artist being manhandled as he exits the stage.

In the song ‘Ibotso,’ the lyrics include the line:

“I am just a singer, I do not have a spear or a sword.”

In Zimbabwe, musicians must be cautious when it comes to lyrics that express anti-establishment views. Despite this, Winky D uses his music to address the decay and economic inequality in a country where a political elite thrives by suppressing the working class.

As a multiple award-winning musician, Winky D’s music resonates with Zimbabwe’s youth and the impoverished population who have been the most affected by the country’s economic struggles. He has garnered support from opposition party politicians, their supporters, and human rights activists.

Winky D prefers to keep his personal life private and does not engage in social media battles with his detractors. Instead, his music speaks for him, and he has become the voice of the voiceless in contemporary Zimbabwe, positioning himself within the people’s struggles and identifying with them. The regime targets him because of his music’s message and its association with the people’s struggles.

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