Friday, 15 April 2011
BROTHER SIZZLA; NO SELL-OUT
Sizzla refuses to condemn Mugabe
ZIMBABWE – HARARE – REGGAE superstar, Sizzla Kalonji, has insisted he will not condemn President Mugabe and describes the veteran leader as one of the “fathers of Africa.”
Sizzla was in Zimbabwe early last year and performed at the 21st February Movement during celebrations marking President Mugabe’s birthday.
His visit sparked anger among Zimbabwe’s detractors who thought the musician should not have performed here. “I see him as one of my fathers from Africa,” Sizzla told the international media about President Mugabe recently.
“He’s part of my nation, the black nation. In all that he’s done – whether it’s good or bad – I hope and pray that it’s for the betterment of the people.”
Mugabe attracted many enemies because of his black economic empowerment policies that include land reform programme and the requirement that all foreignowned companies should sell at least 51 percent of their shareholding to locals.
A black empowerment lobbyist, Sizzla is an admirer of Mugabe, as he also sings about his desire for black emancipation and empowerment in his country and the world at large.
He dismissed claims that the Government of Zimbabwe gave him land during his visit to Zimbabwe. “Honestly, the Government didn’t give me land,” Sizzla said. “For me, going to Africa isn’t just about going to claim land. It was citizens of Zimbabwe that offered me land – they were like, ‘Sizzla, welcome home. Makes use of this land.’
“And I think it’s important that we do that. Zimbabwe is beautiful but it does need a lot of help and that requires people to get involved with farming and also to build on the land to keep the country beautiful and prosperous for future generations.
“(Mugabe) is the ruler right now and he’s an elder to me, so I’m not going to discriminate the president. I believe in repatriation and he must know what is best to make his country a better place. I just hope he continues to do what he believes is best for the people.”
The Jamaican artist did not hide his love for Zimbabwe and the rest of the continent. “Zimbabwe is beautiful, man. I want the world to see how beautiful all of Africa is. When I see some of the buildings and the designs and the architecture there is in Africa, it excites me to think of the beautiful future the continent could have.”
Sizzla’s passion for the motherland suggested that he plans to make his future stay in Zimbabwe a more permanent one.
“Africa is my home. Jamaica is beautiful but you only have to look at our history to know that black people are from Africa. It’s only because of slavery and of course migration that we’ve ended up all over the world,” he says.
“But our ancestral roots lie in Africa. So it’s important to me to tell the people of the world about Africa and also to spend time in the Motherland.”