Jah Prayzah and Hopewell Chinono were involved in a heated social media exchange this morning. As expected it emanated from Jah Prayzah's assumed political leanings. The issue started when Jah Prayzah replied to a video of a Zanu PF rally from years ago where Souljah Love was told "hausi chinhu" after the crowd started making noise asking for him.
In his reply Jah said, "Kkkkk apa unenge wabva kunzi mfana ukasauya kuzoridza kuno haufe wakaridza muZimbabwe futi wobva wasvikako wonzi hausi chinhu 😂 .... #JahLoveZvinhu"
Hopewell replied to this with a 4 tweet thread of analysis:
"1. Interesting intervention from @jahprayzah
I asked @TukuOfficial why he had sang before Mugabe.
“You go there to send a message,” he said.
“Look at the track selection, I played songs like Mukuru, Bvuma & Tsika Dzedu,” he said.
Is JP able to do so?
Yes, he could if he wants.
"2. 1st of all JP needs to build a catalogue that speaks to injustices as @TukuOfficial did.
@bobmarley performed at political concerts.
But then like Tuku, he would play “Get Up, Stand Up.”
So if JP sings Kutonga Kwaro in the face of injustices, the masses will resist his brand
"3. There is a difference between what Tuku & @bobmarley did & what JP & Sandra do.
Bob & Tuku used the stage to speak out against the dictator in his face.
JP & Sandra’s music ululates the dictatorship with Kutonga Kwaro being seen as a sound track to Mnangagwa’s evil rule!
"4. So as long as JP continues singing for the dictator, the critical thinking music consumer will associate his brand and music with that of the evil & crooked regime.
The truth is that nobody is forced to pen songs for Mnangagwa, they do so bcoz they want to, & for dollar gain."
Jah Prayzah had an emotional reply to this and it seemed he was truly hurt. In his post he said;
"What’s sad mukoma Hopewell is that you have my personal number. You know the door to my office and studio, you have been there before. I do not remember receiving your call if you were too concerned kuti munin’ina do you really sing politics. Chimbondiudzawo kuti how do you come up with your songs and anorevei. Never a single day, asi nguva yekundipa advice pa twitter for loves and retweets munayo zvekuti. I decline to participate in this thread asi dai Mwari akubatsirai, kuti pamunonzwa moyo kutsva nekuda kubatsira munotora matanho amunoziva kuti haapatsanure vanhu. Have a blessed day 🙏🏿"
Hopewell had words for Jah Prayzah too and he said;
"My response to your tweet was never meant to put you down, or as a diss JP.
It is part of public discourse that you initiated with your tweet!
You put something in the public domain, and as such, I responded to the discussion using the same platform.
Yes I have your number, yes I have been to your office, but that doesn’t take away the need for us to have a public debate.
I also have been to Mnangagwa’s office and I have his number, I also have been to Chamisa’s office and I have his number, but when it comes to public discourse, I engage with it publicly.
Simply because it involves public matters!
You know too well that when this debate started, I was in prison, it means that it has become a national debate which both you and I can’t privatize!
If you feel that I have dissed you, it was never meant to be like that!
I have publicly written in glowing terms about your music, on so many occasions.
I have recently also publicly entered the debate on your said association with the dictatorship.
We can discuss these things publicly since the debates are on public platforms.
It is unfortunate that you think that I debate for likes and retweets!
But that is your view!
I have publicly critiqued and criticized greats like Tuku and Mapfumo and they graciously engaged with the understanding that as public figures, they would be critiqued.
They never accused me of doing so for Likes and Retweets."
They were no further replies after that but multiple voices have come in support of either side. The likes of Obert Mpofu have even spoken up for Jah Prayzah.
Image: Getty Images