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100 greatest Zimbabwean songs of all time

Greatest-musicians Zimbabwe

100 greatest Zimbabwean songs of all time. Today (Yesterday) Zimbabwe turns 40. We celebrate this milestone at a point where the nation is experiencing a multi-layered crisis, geopolitical vulnerability, and exposure. To compound this, the world is walking a novel path through its worst turmoil ever. Despite our present circumstances, social and political differences, it is imperative to remember that this, our nation, will always be a beautiful nation with amazing people blessed with vast resources.

In the past four decades, we have had some great memories. It is against this background and in that spirit that we take you on a one way, the first-class ticket back in time on a journey which précises our rich and unmatched musical history with 100 of ZIMBABWE’S GREATEST SONGS of the last 40 years. As Pabodzi Curators, we highlight that Zimbabwean popular music sector has a fairly recent history that can be traced back to the ’40s with notable groups such as the Epworth Theatricals strutters, August Musarurwa, The Matakas, De Black Evening Follies. This era was characterised by a lot of copyright jazz music from the United States of America. Nonetheless, typical of the brand Zimbabwe, some outstanging original compositions were recorded.

The sound has grown and matured with the incorporation of traditional instruments to create a distinctively Zimbabwean sound into commercial music, the Chimurenga Vibe. In religious circles, names such as Father Ribeiro and Chaka Chawasarira easily come to mind for their role in incorporation traditional instruments in the mass. Most Protestant Churches in Zimbabwe today have the drum/ngoma and hosho as their signature instruments.

The music produced soon after independence is reflective of the time both in it’s sonic properties and subject. First, it pans African in sound, embracing the joy of joining liberated African nations through incorporating musical elements from across Africa to create music that have shaped the music-scape to date. Secondly, most of the messages were about celebrating new-found political independence.

As years went by, in the post-independence era music was further diluted by the international pop flavour, all these defining critical periods in our journey. As a people we have traversed through the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) period, the fight against the HIV pandemic which remains alive today, the land reform period, the post-millennium era, and the subsequent birth of a millennial sound in the form of the Urban Grooves genre and, most recently, the Zimdancehall genre. The most recent years in Zimbabwean music reflect the liquid modernity, an ear of ideas. The sound is no longer defined by geography. Our musical ideas have no tribe.

This list of Zimbabwe’s top 100 tracks could have been easily populated in both numbers and composition to less than 10 musical outfits of the most outstanding legends in Zimbabwe but in the spirit of collectively attributing achievements and works of excellence, Pabodzi Curators worked hard to produce a justifiable narrative which is neither expansive nor limited but is, in fact, a summary of the abound greatness of music in the arts and culture of our Zimbabwean heritage.

Once more in emphasis, this list represents timeless and defining moments in the history of our nation, the highs, and the lows as well as the ridiculously genius and outstanding artists of this country. To celebrate 40 years of our independence in music, we present the Zimbabwe top 100 songs of all time.

The list demonstrates that Zimbabwe’s musical heritage is extraordinarily rich and diverse, harbouring many sounds that have evolved over the course of times. Many renowned artists and musicians have contributed to this long playlist which shapes our rich collective discography. The sad and unfortunate reality is that most of this history is undocumented, either in film or in written form. A simple search on the internet will show that Zimbabwe’s musical history is missing. Even sadder, is that there is laxity in research on the elements of Zimbabwean music. While commendable, most of the available literature focuses on textual analysis leaving out the statistical and socio-economic impact of music as well as musicological concerns such as the tone colour, rhythm, texture and form. Pabodzi comes in to fill that gap to delight the present and predict the future of the Zimbabwean music sector and by extension creative industries.

Pabodzi Curators is a group of young Zimbabweans who are first and, more importantly, music researchers tracking our musical heritage. In their personal capacities, they have been contributing to the local music industry through reviews, critiques, and opinions on past, current and unreleased music. In this regard, they have exhibited a keen interest in keeping the history of Zimbabwe’s music a topical issue.

Having shown common sense of purpose, they came together 6 months ago and embarked on a journey to dig deeper, deliberate dialogically, before compiling this list. Granted, these 100 songs are not an exhaustive or a conclusive answer to the subject of the broad topic of Zimbabwean music but present us all an opportunity to greatly debate our musical culture.

This list is the first project by Pabodzi Curators in the long journey to document the history of Zimbabwe’s music both past and present. Consequently, Pabodzi will publish a book that profiles these 100 songs and the artists behind them.

As a contribution to the local music industry, Pabodzi Curators will in due course put up and maintain a website which will serve as an online repository of Zimbabwean music. Pabodzi Curators will also publish books on different subjects, genres, and biographies of various artists both past and present including documentaries and films.

Pabodzi Curators are archivists and researchers of Zimbabwean art. The word Pabodzi is a Kore-kore word that means oneness. Happy independence Zimbabwe. Enjoy the musical travelogue! Pamwechete / Ukubambana because we are bringing together their minds with a unity of purpose. We envision ourselves as future a leading source of correct and extensive information on Zimbabwean music.

1 A Peace Of Ebony – Sounds Of The Motherland
2 Admire Kasenga & Ngosimbi Crew – Pamuchato waTobias
3 Albert Nyati – Senzenina
4 Alexio Kawara – Shaina
5 Alick Macheso – Mundikumbuke
6 Andy Brown – Mapurisa
7 Assegai Crew – Kanyama Karipi
8 August Musarurwa – Skokiaan
9 Bhundu Boys – Jit Jive
10 Bhundu Boys – Simbimbino
11 Biggie Zhanje  – Rudo Ndimandivhaidze
12 Black Umfolosi – Unity
13 Bob Nyabinde – Chabuda Hapana
14 Busi Ncube & Ilanga – True Love
15 Calvin Gudu & Muzi Mangena – Tombofara
16 Cde Chinx Chingaira – Vanhu vemuAfrica
17 Cephas Mashakada – Samson
18 Charles Charamba – Mhinduro Iripo
19 Chiwoniso Maraire – Mai
20 Clive Malunga – Nesango
21 Cool Crooners – Bhulugwe Lami
22 Don Gumbo & Ilanga – Shosholoza
23 Edwin Hama – Asila Mali
24 Ephat Mujuru – Mugariro
25 Fanyana Dube – Imali
26 Fortune Muparutsa – Wangu Ndega
27 Frontline Kids – Ngoma Kurira
28 Gakamoto Jumbo Stars – Chiramwiwa
29 George Pada – Amai Vangu
30 Giraffe – Vakomana Vekwedu
31 Guess – Amai
32 Innocent Utsiwegota + Malvin S + Major E – In My Dreams
33 Isaac Chirwa – Uthando khuwe
34 Jah Prayzah – Jerusarema
35 Jamal ft Betty Makaya – Kurwizi
36 James Chimombe – Jemedza
37 Jazz Invitation – BP
38 Jeys Marabini – Emarabini
39 John Chibadura – Mudiwa Janet
40 Jonah Moyo & Devera Ngwena Jazz Band – Solo naMutsai
41 Jonah Sithole – Sabhuku
42 Kenneth Chigodora – Musango Ndodzungaira
43 Khiama Boys – Mabhawuwa
44 King Pinn – I Salute You
45 Lameck Moyo & Amabhubesi – Chikwari/Rega Kusaririra
46 Leonard Mapfumo ft ExQ & Kevi – Maidei
47 Leonard Dembo – Vhenenzia
48 Leonard Dembo & Barura Express – Chitekete
49 Leonard Zhakata – Hupenyu Mutoro
50 Leonard Zhakata – Mugove
51 LMG Choir – Emoyeni
52 Lovemore Majaivana – Umoya Wami
53 Marshall Munhumumwe & Four Brothers – Rudo Moto
54 Mathew Kaunda [Mateo] – Pamuhacha
55 Mbira Dzenharira – Ndoenda kwambuya
56 Mbuya Madhuve – Ndega Munzira
57 Mechanic Manyeruke & The Puritans – Makorokoto
58 Michael Lannas & Talking Drum – Come to me (Hapana Mazwi)
59 Mike Mopo & ZINAWA – Huya Titambe
60 Ndolwane Supersounds – Phenduka
61 Newman Chipeni – Chati Huwi
62 Ngwenya Brothers – Nyaradzo
63 Nicholas Somerai – Mudiwa Wangu
64 Nicholas Zakaria & Khiama Boys – Mabvi neMagokora
65 Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits – Tozeza baba
66 Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits – Neria
67 Patrick Mkwamba & The Four Brothers – Wapenga Nayo Bonus
68 Paul Matavire & Jairos Jiri Band – Tanga Wandida
69 Paul Mpofu & Zambuko Band – Murambinda
70 Pengaudzoke – Tsaona
71 Pied Pipers – Ruva Rangu
72 Prince Tendai & Mitchel Jambo – Kumusha
73 Prince Tendai Mpfurutsa – Character
74 R&K African Sounds – Tina
75 Roki – Chidzoka
76 Rozala Miller – Everybody is free
77 Safirio Madzikatire – KwaHunyani
78 Sekuru Gora – Kufa Kwangu
79 Shingisai Suluma – Mirira Mangwanani
80 Shuvai Utawunashe & Family Singers – Nditorei
81 Simon Chimbetu & Dendera Kings – Samatenga
82 Simon Chimbetu & Marxist Brothers – Mwana Wedangwe
83 Solomon Skuza – Banolila
84 Solomon Skuza – Love And Scandals
85 Stella Chiweshe – Chava Chimurenga
86 Steve Makoni – Zvachanyona
87 Susan Mapfumo – Handitambwe Iyoyo
88 System Tazvida & Chazezesa Challengers – Anodyiwa Haataure
89 Tairosi Tendaupenyu – Furuwa
90 Tanga WekwaSando – Wake
91 Temba Ndlovu – Meet Me In Zimbabwe
92 Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited – MaDhebhura
93 Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited – Vanhu Vatema
94 Tongai Moyo & Utakataka Express – Naye
95 TP Nyekese (Papa Jose) – Ndochi
96 Various Artists – Ma Bus Driver
97 Winky D ft Vabati VaJehovah – Ngirozi
98 Zexie Manatsa & The Green Arrows – Chipo Chiroorwa
99 Zig Zag Band – Gomo Ramasare
100 Cha Cha Cha Kings – Vimbiso

This list of songs featuring on the 25 special mentions add on to the rich repertoire of outstanding music from Zimbabwe. These musics are special in so many ways and will potentially shape the Zimbabwean sound 50 years on.


Mafriq – Ndizvo Chete

De black evening follies – Ndafuna-funa

Epworth theatrical strutters – Kudzidza Kwakanaka

George Sibanda – kwantutu

Afrika revenge – wanga

Pastor G – Tshibilika

Sanni Makhalima – Usadaro

Calvin – Z’khiphan

Tocky Vibes – Mhai

Ras Caleb- Tokwe Mukosi

Khuxman – MaAfrika bambanani

Nox – Ndinonyara

Hosea Chipanga – Zvichandi batsirei Mwanangu

Beater Mangethe – Makokoba

Killer T – Takangodaro

David Mabvuramiti – Chikomba MuWardrobe

Audius Mtawarira – Hold On

Soul Jah love – Ndini Uya uya

Pozee ft Sku – Uhamba lobani

Trevor Dongo – Ndashamisika

Janet Manyowa – Zadzisa

Stunner ft Ba Shupi – Godo

Decibel – Nakai

Matonto – Umendo

Xtra Large – Kushamura Newe

Source – Earground

In other news – Robert Mugabe Jnr’s Independence message: My father was a servant of Zimbabweans

One of his notable appearances was when he featured for the Zimbabwean squad in the Zone 6 games held in Harare in 2010. He participated in the games when he was only 18.

Robert MugabeThe controversial Mugabe boy had a message for Zimbabweans on this day as the country celebrates 40 years of independence. Check his message below…continue reading.

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