Popular music and political contestations in Zimbabwe: an analysis of Winky D’s and Jah Prayzah’s music

Trust Matsilele, Mbongeni Jonny Msimanga, Lungile Augustine Tshuma

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This article explores the use of popular music in political contestations and specifically how it has been appropriated in Zimbabwe to advance hegemonic and counter hegemonic narratives. The article draws from two popular musicians in Zimbabwe, Winky D and Jah Prayzah and their use of music as an unconventional journalism format to comment on political trajectories in Zimbabwe. We argue that the two musicians have polarizing or competing discourses that either dissident or support the establishment. Theoretically, we use Mano’s conceptual framework that views music as a journalism variant in contexts where mass media and opposition parties are weak. Methodologically, the study employs a multimodal approach and thematic analysis. The study concludes that Zimbabwe’s two popular youthful musicians have been engaging in cold-war like fights that mirror existential political battles between the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front party (ZANU-PF) led by Emmerson Mnangagwa and the then Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC-A) party led by Nelson Chamisa. After the 2017 elections the MDC-A reconfigured itself and became the Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-308
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of African Media Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Music
  • MDC-A
  • Emmerson Mnangagwa
  • Zimbabwe
  • Nelson Chamisa
  • CCC


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