Thomas meets Thomas; The Lion of Zim – Mwasangwale’s Hall of Fame

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Painting of “The Lion of Zim” by Thomas Mwasangwale.

Today’s pick from Mwasangwale’s Hall of Fame is the painting of musician Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo who is famously known as The Lion of Zimbabwe. Apart from the fact that Mapfumo has had a long and successful musical career the man merits the Hall of Fame for his contribution to culture.

As each family, culture, or country rides the tides of time, some icons may remain; the legacies and stepping stones for future generations. Thomas Mapfumo was born in 1945. At his age, he has seen a number of chapters in the history of his home country. The privilege of an artist is not only to experience life but to express it. So, what is it about The Lion of Zim that stands out?

How does the Lion of Zim, Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo stand out in Mwasangwale’s Hall of Fame?

5. Firstly, Mapfumo had the tradition he was born into; a rich history that inspired his music. He has recorded and performed songs with the traditional mbira instrument and the drum.

4. Then he experienced the colonial era and the liberation struggle. This is all in his international flavor of music and his chimurenga music genre.

3. Mapfumo was still active in post-independence Zimbabwe. His music had a wide scope, and in many ways, his voice echoed the talk of the times.

2. Being a successful musician for so long, Mapfumo was heard at celebrations, commemorations, and all sorts of events. For some time he was the man of the moment in the music industry. As such, he became involved and at some point representative of whatever the society was concerned with.

1. One of the things Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo did was traveling. That gave him the opportunity to share his appreciation of culture locally and abroad. On one of his Tours, he met Thomas Mwasangwale, who handed him a painting. It’s like the younger Thomas was saying; “we appreciate you, old-timer”.

If you are new to Mwasangwale’s Hall of Fame, read on.

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