About the Author(s)

Ishanesu S. Gusha Email symbol
Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Gusha, L.S., 2023, ‘Musicians as prophets: A comparative analysis of Winky D’s music and John the Baptist’s message’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 79(4), a8993. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i4.8993

Research Project Registration:

Project Leader: Ernest van Eck symbol

Project Number: 2400030

Description: The author/s are participating in the research project ‘Africa Platform for NT Scholars’, directed by Prof. Dr Ernest van Eck, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria.

Note: Special Collection: The contextual reading of the New Testament in the socio-political landscape in Zimbabwe, sub-edited Tobias Marevesa and Conrad Chibango, Great Zimbabwe University.

Original Research

Musicians as prophets: A comparative analysis of Winky D’s music and John the Baptist’s message

Ishanesu S. Gusha

Received: 15 May 2023; Accepted: 24 Jul. 2023; Published: 23 Nov. 2023

Copyright: © 2023. The Author Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This article has interrogated the prophetic role of musicians in Zimbabwe’s political discourse with Winky D’s latest album Eureka Eureka (which was launched on 31 December 2022) being the case study. Two tracks (Dzimba Dzemabwe and Ibotso) have been singled out for analysis. The message of John the Baptist in Luke 3:7–14 has been used as the framework for understanding the prophetic phenomenon of the 1st century AD Palestinian environment. The article has employed the comparative methodology in comparing these two distant figures. The fivefold process of selection, description, juxtaposition, redescription, and rectification and theory formation has been employed as steps in doing a comparative study. The study identified some notable similarities as well as some differences in the messages of Winky D and John the Baptist and concluded that Winky D’s message played a prophetic role in the Zimbabwean political discourse in a similar way that the message of John the Baptist in Luke 3:7–14 played in the 1st century AD Palestinian context.

Contribution: The article concluded that Winky D in his album Eureka Eureka played well the prophetic role in the political landscape of Zimbabwe.

Keywords: politics; Zimbabwe; prophet; Winky D; comparative; music; Eureka Eureka; John the Baptist.


Musicians have always played the role of conscientising society on key issues affecting people, and in Zimbabwe this has been a trend since the colonial era. Prominent musicians such as Thomas Mapfumo, Simon Chimbetu, Zex Manatsa, Ketai Muchawaya, Dick Chingaira Makoni and Oliver Mtukudzi played a significant role in conscientising the Zimbabwean society of socio-political issues during the liberation war and in the post-colonial era. Although entertaining the masses is one of the major roles of music, musicians use entertainment as a method of educating and informing the society. They speak for the voiceless, and confront evil and oppression of people in the society. This seems to be the same scenario as with John the Baptist who spoke for the voiceless, challenged evil, and the powers of the day through his message of the Kingdom of God. This article seeks to interrogate Winky D’s latest album Eureka Eureka in light of the message of John the Baptist in Luke 3:7–14 who was a 1st century AD Palestinian prophet. The article seeks to interrogate the album through the following questions: In what ways is Eureka Eureka playing a prophetic role in the Zimbabwean political landscape? Is this album speaking for the voiceless like what John the Baptist did in his message or is it amplifying the voices of the powers of the day? Is the album challenging the evil practices and the powerful people in Zimbabwe today? These questions will help in shaping the research findings of this article. In comparing the message of John the Baptist with Winky D’s album, this article will employ the comparative methodology in order to establish some similarities and differences between the messages of these two characters who existed in different epochs in the history of humanity. The layout of the article is as follows: a discussion of the comparative methodology, an exegesis of John the Baptist’s message in Luke 3:7–14, a discussion of the current Zimbabwe’s political landscape, an analysis of the message of Winky D’s two selected songs in the album Eureka Eureka, a comparison of John the Baptist and Winky D’s messages, and finally research findings. The purposes of this research are to demonstrate how musicians through their music can be agents of change in their communities, and the centrality of music in conscientising their communities just like the messages of prophets like John the Baptist.

A comparative methodology

In a comparative methodology two or more items should be compared. According to Shahrokh and Miri (2019:1), ‘the use of comparison in the study of human science, history and culture has a long history’. Although the comparative methodology has a very long history of usage in academic research, there is still a debate on whether it is a stand alone methodology or it is a second-order methodology. The term ‘comparative methodology’ is a generic term which encompasses comparisons which are both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Shahrokh and Miri (2019:1) define it as, ‘a kind of a method that analyses phenomena and then put them together to find the points of differentiation and similarity’. For example, in this article the phenomena that are being compared are the messages of John the Baptist in Luke 3:7–14 and Winky D in the album Eureka Eureka. According to Oliver Freiberger (2018:3), ‘every comparative study is configured in a certain way with regard to its goals, modes, scale, and scope’. The following five tenets are central in doing a comparative study: modes, scales, scopes, and process of comparison, as well as rectification and theory formulation. In terms of modes of comparison, there are six modes which are encyclopaedic, ethnographic, evolutionary, morphological, illuminative and taxonomic. This article employs the illuminative mode which, according to Freiberger (2018:5), ‘aims at illuminating a particular historical-empirical item, especially assumed blind spots, by drawing comparatively on other cases’. For example, the phenomenon at the centre of attention in this study is Winky D’s album Eureka Eureka which will be studied in light of the message of John the Baptist. In terms of the scale of comparison, one is looking at the degree in which the comparison is being made. Winky D in this context is representing thousands of musicians in Zimbabwe and such a comparison should be taken as rough divide on a zoom scale which might not be true reflection of other musicians not selected for this research. The scope of comparison, according to Freiberger (2018:7), ‘reflects the distance between the items compared in a study’. This distance can be contextual, cross-cultural or trans-historical. In this article, the scope of comparison is contextual. Freiberger (2018:7) further argues that, ‘the contextual scope compares with one historical context or cultural mileu that can be delineated both spatially and temporally’. Here, the prophetic phenomenon in the 1st century AD Palestinian context of John the Baptist’s time is being compared to the music of Winky D in the contemporary Zimbabwean context. The process of comparison is the application part of the methodology and in this section, one is looking at step-by-step process of doing the comparison. According to Shahrokh and Miri (2019:8), ‘this is a fivefold process involving the following five steps: selection, description, juxtaposition, redescription, rectification and theory formation’. This is where the actual job of comparing the phenomena in question takes place. The selection process for items to be compared is very important for the comparative project to be successful. In this article not the entire message of John or the entire message of Winky D is compared selected specific messages will be. The description part is very important in placing both messages in their right context and this is of great importance towards a successful comparative approach. In the description process, traits and characteristics of the items to be compared are highlighted and that makes it easier for the readers to understand the similarities and differences even without the author mentioning them. The Zimbabwean political and musical context will be described as well as the message of the Baptist before comparing them. Juxtaposition means putting things alongside each other for the sake of establishing similarities and differences. In redescription, one is attempting to answer the questions: Why these two or more items similar? What are the factors that might have caused the similarities and differences? The juxtaposition process might have highlighted new insights that might have caused us to reconsider our presumptions about the subject. The last step is rectification and theory formation and according to Freiberger (2018:5), ‘this refers to a revision of the definition and conceptualization of the categories involved in the study’. For example, is evidence from the study still maintain that musicians such as Winky D play a prophetic role in the political landscape of Zimbabwe? If it is not the case, then, one needs to rectify that theoretical presupposition. If that is affirmed through study then the theory that musicians play a prophetic role in the Zimbabwean political context is maintained.

Message of John the Baptist and its impact on the political context of the day

John came into the scene when the Roman Empire was in power and Joel B Green (1997:140) describes this context as ‘characterized by briberies, insults, robberies, outrages, wanton injustices, and frequent execution without trial’. According to Green (1997:241), ‘John is portrayed by Luke as a prophet concerned with social renewal and transformation’. Furthermore, Franklin (2001:922) posits that ‘both Matthew (7:12) and Mark (1:6) picture John as Elijah returned’. Tuckett (2018:88) argues that the mentioning of John’s clothing in the gospels is intended to give a picture of Elijah’s clothing in 2 Kings 1:8. This portrayal of John as Elijah is avoided by Luke who portrays Jesus as Elijah and would not be comfortable to place John at the same level with Jesus. What is it in John the Baptist that gospel writers identify him with prophetic ministry? In answering this question, we need to understand what was the role of prophets in ancient Israelite society. Olumuyiwa Olusesan Familusi (2018:17) argues that, ‘prophets as God’s mouthpiece and bearers of His messages have always been active participants in the affairs of the world’. Prophets were God’s messengers conveying the message of God to the people who were either leaders or ordinary citizens. They rebuked sin and challenged injustices without fear. These qualities made them recipients of persecution, torture, arrests and stigma. This is what we see in John the Baptist. According to Altinger (1995:10), John was courageous, disciplined, wise, uncompromising, firm, eloquent and strong.

Exegesis of Luke 3:7–14

In order to understand the message of John in its rightful context, an exegesis of the above-selected text is necessary. First of all, it should be noted that there have been some debates concerning the originality of this text.For example, I. Howard Marshall (1978:79) highlighted the sentiments of source critic, Julius Wellhausen and form critic, Rudolf Bultmann who both argued that this teaching cannot go back to John the Baptist because of its unique Greek expressions which point to the later Hellenistic period. Schurmann and Danker in Marshall (1978) dismissed Wellhausen and Bultmann’s sentiments as sheer suppositions lacking text critical evidence from early manuscripts. Casting aside this debate, Luke locates John the Baptist’s ministry in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar (Lk 3;1). Luke T Johnson (1991:63) argues that, ‘Tiberius’ imperial rule is usually dated in the 14th AD’. This places the ministry of John the Baptist to around 28th–29th AD.

John opened his teaching in verse 7 with a scathing attack on the crowd by labelling them as ‘brood of vipers’. According to Green (1997:279), by doing that ‘John underscores their hopeless position apart from the way of repentance he presents to them’. Furthermore, John warned them of the imminence of God’s judgement and that repentance of their sins was an urgent matter. This attack and warning prompted the response from the crowd with a question, ‘what then should we do?’ (Lk 3:10b). The main message of John’s teaching in this text is centred on John’s response to this question and other two follow-up questions by the tax collectors and soldiers. His first task was to respond to the crowd’s question by giving what Howard mentions as ‘two concrete instructions whose nature is perhaps determined by the poverty of his audience’. ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none’ (Lk 3:11b). The Greek term translated ‘coat’ is ‘χιτῶv’ which was according to Marshall (1978:80) ‘an under-garment worn over the bare body or over a linen vest and beneath an outer coat’. The plural ‘χιτῶνας’ [coats] shows that some people wore two undergarments specially to protect themselves against cold when on a journey. The second instruction to the crowd was, ‘whoever has food must do likewise’ (Lk 3:11c). The Greek word translated ‘food’ is the plural form of βρώµα (βρώματα) which refers to a person who had several items of food and has to share with the one who has none. In giving these instructions, John the Baptist was not deviating from the Jewish teachings of loving one’s neighbour.

Next in line were the tax collectors and their question was ‘teacher, what should we do? (Lk 3:12b). The word translated ‘tax collectors’ is (τελῶναι) which can mean either tax collectors or publicans. Johnson (1991:65) argues that, ‘in this period in Palestine, they seemed to have been largely collectors of indirect taxes through tolls under the supervision of “chief tax agents” and imperial regulation’. Green (1997) further argues that:

[C]ollection of indirect taxes was handled by private entrepreneurs who bid for the task. The highest bidder won the contract to collect tolls, advance to the state the amount bid, then set up a machinery for recouping his investment and subsequent costs, and making profit. (p. 289)

This is the context that necessitated abuse and extortion. John the Baptist does not instruct the tax collectors to leave their jobs but to stop making excessive profits by making unreasonable demands.

Last in line were the soldiers and they also asked the question, ‘and we, what should we do?’ (Lk 3:14b). Who were these soldiers and what were they doing among the crowds? Marshall (1978) and Green (1997) agree that these were probably Jews or gentiles who were in the military service of Herod Antipas with the responsibility of assisting tax collectors in their tax collecting duties. This probably explains why they were in the company of tax collectors. John had to instruct soldiers to desist from sins that are normally associated with their profession, that is, the use of violence and intimidation. The Greek word used here is ‘διασείσητε’ which means violently shake something and in this context it means extorting money from people by violent means.

In conclusion, John challenged the following groups of people: the crowd, tax collectors, and soldiers. His core message was of repentance in order to prepare for the coming of Christ. According to Marshall (1978:78), ‘John outlines the practical meaning of repentance in terms of love and justice for his hearers, including tax collectors and soldiers’. In such a scenario, John the Baptist became the darling of the marginalised, poor and oppressed people in the community. He rebuked public and rich figures like tax collectors as well as authoritative figures like soldiers without fear and in Luke 3 these figures repented and accepted his baptism. His prophetic role was acknowledged although people were confused as to whether he was the expected messiah predicted by the scriptures or not.

Zimbabwe’s political landscape under the Second Republic

The Zimbabwean political landscape is important for this study because it is the context in which the musical activities of Winky D are being investigated. Here, the focus is on the contemporary political context which was ushered in by the Second Republic in 2017 under the leadership of President Emerson Mnangagwa. The transition from the old dispensation under Robert Mugabe to the new dispensation under Emmerson Mnangagwa brought much hope to the people of Zimbabwe, but as Ishanesu Gusha (2022:2) argues, ‘what happened in November 2017 was the replacement of the old dispensation with a new old dispensation’. Munoda Mararike (2019) argues that:

[T]he fact that in November 2017, Mugabe was succeeded by President Emerson Mnangagwa does not signify in any way a regime change agenda but perpetuation of same philosophical ethos represented by the party. (pp. 33–34)

It was for this reason why the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) that was passed by the United States of America congress in 2001 was amended in 2018. This Act was put in place citing gross human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and violation of democratic principles. For example, the World Human Rights Watch Report 2021 (Human Rights Watch, n.d.) writes that, ‘Zimbabwe’s human rights situation continued to decline in 2020 under Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidency’. In 2020, more than 70 cases of abduction and torture by the state security were documented. Prominent investigative journalists like Hopewell Chin’ono and Mduduzi Mathuthu were arrested and their homes were raided by state security officials for calling for nationwide protests against corruption. Political activists such as Job Sikhala, Jacob Ngarivhume, Tendai Biti, and Joanna Mamombe were also subjected to multiple unlawful arrests for calling for peaceful protests against the government’s misuse of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) funds. The World Human Rights Report 2021 (Human Rights Watch, n.d.) further documents that:

[O]n 18 September 2020 Zimbabwe National Students Union leader Tafadzwa Ngadziore was assaulted by unidentified men while addressing a press conference in protest of unlawful torture and arrests of fellow student leaders (n.p.)

In 2022, the Zimbabwe Political and Economic Environment watch (International Trade Administration, n.d.) reported that ‘a Citizen Coalition for Change member- Mboneli Ncube was killed by ZANU-PF affiliated youth at a by-election campaign rally in Kwekwe and 22 others were killed’. There has been serious mismanagement of the economy thereby impoverishing millions of people resulting in massive emigration to other countries either lawfully or unlawfully. For example, the Al Jazeera Investigative Unit (2023) documented a four-episode documentary narrating how millions of dollars are being syphoned out of the country through illegal dealing by gold mafia groups. Among those gold mafias were prophet Uebert Angel who is also the country’s ambassador at large, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife Auxillia as well as Henrietta Rushwaya who is the president of Zimbabwe Miners Federation. In conclusion, as the Zimbabwe Political and Economic Environment watch reports (International Trade Administration, n.d.), ‘the Zimbabwe political environment remains uncertain, violent crime, such as assault, smash and grabs, and home invasions remains a common phenomenon’. This is the political landscape in which musicians like Winky D are being called to address. People are longing for a change that, in the words of Thabani Nyoni (2018:31), will lead to ‘rediscover the rule of law and sanctity of persons and property’.

Analysing Winky D’s album Eureka Eureka and its impact in the Zimbabwean political landscape: A brief profile of Winky D

This section focuses on analysing Winky D’s album and its impact on the Zimbabwean political landscape, but before that his brief profile will be highlighted. Winky D is the stage name and his real name is Wallace Chirumiko. He is also popularly known as ‘The Big Man’, dancehall igwe, gaffa, and ninja and was born in Kambuzuma on 01 February 1983. Kambuzuma is one of the oldest ghetto townships in the city of Harare. He is considered the pioneer of the musical brand, dancehall music. He has so far produced 10 albums and some of them he had collaborated with famous musicians such as the late Oliver Mtukudzi.

Interrogating the album Eureka Eureka

The word ‘eureka’ (εὕρηκα) is derived from Greek and it is a word used to celebrate a new discovery or invention. The album was launched on 31 December 2022 at Harare International Conference. The album has 14 tracks featuring different young artists such as, Shingai, Enzo Ishall, Tocky Vibes, Holy Ten, Herman, Killer T, Saint Floew, Nutty O, Mwenje Mathole, Anita Jaxson, Bazooker, Dr Chaii, Qounfuzed, Ex Q, and Poptain. Only two tracks, Dzimba Dzemabwe and Ibotso sparked debate in the public discourse.

Interrogating the track Dzimba Dzemabwe
Lyrics of the song1

Stanza 1

Jah know Serious tings,

Shingai Shingai Usadaro (be strong be strong do not do that)

usadaro Daro oh, oh (do not do that–not that)

Stanza 2

Night and day, my heart is bleeding (Jah know)

When I look at the poor and needy (I cry)

Everything gone with the greedy (Jah know)

We need a national healing (oh, oh)

Stanza 3

Is this the land, we cried for?

We died for, Usadaro (do not do that)

Is this the land, we cried for?

We died for, Usadaro (do not do that)

Dzimba Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe (oh, oh) (house of stone, of stone, of stone)

Dzimba Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe, usadaro (house of stone, of stone, of stone, don’t do that)

Stanza 4

What kinda legacy are we to leave for the coming generation?

Yes, I hope to see a better life, but it’s an imagination

They talk about Democracy, mi look all I just see is hypocrisy

The dialogue is turning into a fallacy

The Ghetto Youths’ ambition now turn into a fantasy

From long time when mi grow, everybody know dis is di bread basket

But, right now we carry water inna di basket

Stanza 5

Is this the land, ah, we cried for?

We died for, Usadaro (don’t do that)

Is this the land? We cried for (cried)

We died for (why?), Usadaro (don’t do that)

Dzimba Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe (house of stone, of stone, of stone)

Dzimba Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe, usadaro (house of stone, of stone, of stone, don’t do that)

Stanza 6

If the world is a stage

Then this pain is a cage

Aren’t you tired of lying?

Mwanangu (my child) you’re smiling through all of your rage

So listen to me softly

Time to rise up my family

What’chu thinking?

Did you miss me? Singing for this, this land (oh)

That we died for

We cried for, Usadaro (don’t do that)

Stanza 7

Is this the land? We cried for (cried)

We died for (why?), Usadaro (don’t do that)

Is this the land? We cried for (cried), We died for, Usadaro (don’t do that)

Dzimba Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe (houses of stones, of stones, of stones)

Dzimba Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe, Dzemabwe (houses of stones, of stones, of stones)

Shingi, Mwanawevhu (be strong, the child of the soil)

Haha I, Jusa DeMentor

In this track, Winky D features a lady called Shingai and it is a seven-stanza track. Stanza 1 is just an introduction and the singers hint the audience that this is serious stuff. In stanza 2, the singers inform the listeners that their hearts are bleeding which is an expression of pain. Why are their hearts bleeding? The cause of the bleeding hearts is the plight of the poor and the needy who are suffering as a result of certain individual greedy people. These greedy people are amassing everything at the expense of the poor people. The situation is dire and there is need for national healing. The names of the class of greedy people are not mentioned in the song. Stanza 3 is the fulcrum of this song and it serves as a chorus to be repeated in stanzas 5 and 7. The singers in this stanza raise serious philosophical questions regarding the value of the liberation war and why people died in the war. The Shona phrase ‘usadaro’ meaning ‘please do not do that to us’ is repeated on several occasions. Who is this person who is being reprimanded? Stanza 4 raises a painful question about legacy. What is it that is in store for future generations when everything is being plundered? What is there for the young people? The dream of a better life for the young people is now just an illusion. Democratic principles are challenged in this song as just hypocrisy. Dialogue is also criticised as just a fallacy. The two singers remember the golden days when the country was prosperous and had the reputation of being the bread basket of Africa. All this is now history and there is no longer anything in the basket except water. Stanza 5 repeats the lyrics of stanza 3. In stanza 6, the singers pose a question to unknown person(s), why are they not tired of lying to the people. The call is now for young people to take this situation seriously and rise to action and there is no need of thinking twice. Stanza 7 repeats the lyrics of stanza 3 but it ends with asking the audience to be courageous. The lyrics of the song point to the leadership of the country and the corrupt rich people as the prime targets of the message.

Interrogating the track Ibotso
Lyrics of the song2

Stanza 1

Hello, Aihwa, Hoyo (hello, no, look at it)

Vanotora zvevapfupi nekureba (those who extort the vulnerables by use of power)

Sekutamba sekuseka (it is like a joke)

Ibotso (a serious crime against mother), Holy Ten

Stanza 2

Vanonyepa vanonyepedzera (they lie, there are pretenders)

Vanozeza, vanozeza zera (they hesitate, and hesitate)

Vano spender vanotenga tenga (they spend and buy every time)

Ibotso (a serious crime against mother)

Ini ndiri muimbi chete (I am just a singer)

Handina pfumo handina bakatwa (I don’t have a spear or matchet)

Musandikande pasi kunge hakata (do not throw me down like dices)

Ibotso (A serious crime against mother)

Aihwa ndiri muimbi chete (No I am just a singer)

No pfumo no bakatwa (no spear, no matchet)

Saka ini musandikakata (so do not drag me away)

Stanza 3

Ndoda pekugara ndinoda roof (i need where to stay, i need a roof above me)

Ndoda chekudya mumba mune hupfu (i need something to eat and a house with mealie meal)

Paghetto tiri kuchema kunge rufu (I our high density suburbs we are crying as if it at a funeral)

Vamwe vari kukwata vari kuchemera muvhu (some are fearful and a crying in privacy)

Vauya netsvimbo hanzi ndiani anoti bufu (they come with knobkerries to chech on who is complaining)

Vatengesi votengesa vopihwa mafufu (sellouts are selling out others for crumbs)

Torwisana tega maHutu nema Tutsi (we are fighting ourselves like Hutus and Tutsis)

Aihwa hauzombizvida futi (no, you will not like it)

Zvimoko zvogaya kuti life iri mubeauty (young girls now think that life is in their beauty)

Vobhaizwa nemadhara ane macooler box mu booty (they are now being deceived with old people with cooler boxes in their car booty)

Yobva yangorohwa raw, sushi (they are now exposed to unprotected sex)

Pobarwawo kamwe ka yuti (yuti) (the result is the birth of unplanned children)

Koshaya kuti life iri kunaga nekupi (the chidren born out of this context cannot understand where life is herding to)

Koona magevha kotambidzwa pfuti (They meet criminals and given guns)

Kopinda paghetto koblinger neGucci (they come back to high density suburbs showing off their new brand of clothes-gucci)

Stanza 4

Holy vatipire kuti (tell them Holy Ten)

Vanonyepa vanonyepedzera (they lie, there are pretenders)

Vanozeza, vanozeza zera (they hesitate,and hesitate)

Vano spender vanotenga tenga (they spend and buy every time)

Ibotso (A serious crime against mother)

Ini ndiri muimbi chete (I am just a singer)

Handina pfumo handina bakatwa (I don’t have a spear or matchet)

Musandikande pasi kunge hakata (do not throw me down like dices)

Ibotso (A serious crime against mother)

Aihwa ndiri muimbi chete (No I am just a singer)

No pfumo no bakatwa (no spear, no matchet)

Saka ini musandikakata (so do not drag me away)

Stanza 5

Ghetto yuti zvotimakisa zvekuvati boss chakadaro (Ghetto youth are now praising them as bosses)

‘Cause posh yavanayo magetsi (praising their expensive cars)

Pari kubuda mazhetsi (their releasing expensive cars)

Nemazihunhu (with big people)

Mwanasika abuda muma bedroom (a girl child now coming out from their bed rooms)

Mwanasikana rinotambika botso iri (the girl now participating in this serious crime against mother)

Tone down usafirita photo iri (slang-literally don’t spray this photo)

Unoerakana wazotsvagwa (they will suddenly look for you)

Nema gevha anotemera musaga (these criminals silently deal with you)

Nhema nhema hazvikonzera musikanzwa (no no that cannot cause mischievousness)

Vamwe vedu takakurira munhamo too (some of us grow under poverty conditions)

Asi takazviudza kuti we gotta go prove kuti (we told ourselves that we will prove it)

Even if you show me zvinhu zvacho zvemu movie (even if you show me movie things)

I’ll never go groupie, never (never)

Pane zvakadhura but hapana vaiseenza (they were threatening situations but it didn’t work)

Pane vakanyura asi hapana vairedza (some got drowned but no one was fishing)

In this song, Winky D features Holy Ten and it is a five-stanza song. Stanza 1 is an introduction and the singers are quick to go to the issue of greedy people who are using their powers to amass wealth. Winky D goes on to introduce Holy Ten and the title of the song ‘Ibotso’ is mentioned several times throughout the track. Botso, in African culture is normally an offense of ill-treating one’s mother which results in severe consequences after the death of the offended mother. This implies that these greedy people are committing serious crimes that will have serious repercussions in the future. In stanza 2, these greedy people are referred to as liars, pretenders, and overspenders who flash their wealth. The singers are quick to apologise that they are simply musicians without weapons and there is no need for those in power to persecute them. Stanza 3 is a plea to those with powers to provide basic human needs like shelter and food. People are lamenting but hiding in fear of being persecuted and the problem is of sellouts in their communities who are hired for peanuts. This results in the poor people fighting each other like the genocide that took place in Rwanda. Girls are being abused by those with financial muscles resulting in the birth of children outside marriage. Life has become meaningless in the high-density suburbs where criminals show off their clothing brands. Stanza 4 is a repetition of stanza 2. In the last stanza, the singers lambast young people who are regarding these greedy people as their models by praising their expensive cars. The subject of abuse of girls by these greedy people is raised again in this stanza. The song seems to reprimand those in authority as well as those who amass wealth through unorthodox means.

How did the authorities especially those with political powers respond to the album? The song was received with mixed feelings in the public discourse. Firstly, the audience who are general people loved the song especially on the day of its launching. For example, within 6 months of the uploading of the official video on YouTube, it had received a viewership of over 1.6 million people. The song has over 4600 positive comments on YouTube, which is a sign of how people have endorsed the message of the song. Secondly, there is no official position of the government concerning the album but the actions of the government point to the direction of not approving the song. The song has not received a single play in the state radio or television which is a big sign of disapproving it. Thirdly, those who are sympathisers of the government were the ones openly criticising the album. One such example was Arnold Kamadyariwa popularly known as DJ Fantan who was cited by Cynthia Goba (2023) as landing a scathing attack on Winky D ‘for exploiting young artists when he used them in his album without spelling the agenda of the project’. Next on the train of attacking the album was Economic Empowerment Group which is a ZANU-PF aligned organisation. According to Vanessa Ganye (2023), the secretary general of Economic Empowerment Group called for the banning of Winky D from performing in Zimbabwe. The organisation viewed the album as ‘toxic and inciting political violence as well as sowing the seeds of division’. Fourthly, the reaction of the government state security officials by stopping Winky D’s show in Chitungwiza was a clear testimony of the government’s disapproval of the album. According to Zimeye reporter (2023), ‘on the 05th March 2023, Winky D’s show at Blue Roof in Damview Chitungwiza was disrupted by the police and ended prematurely after he performed the song Ibotso’. Fifthly, in fear of political repercussions, some of the musicians he featured in the album like Holy Ten began to distance themselves from the project. The message of the two songs has been a thorn in the flesh for political leaders and those who unjustly amass wealth.

A comparative analysis of Winky D’s album Eureka Eureka and the message of John the Baptist

In terms of the application of comparative methodology, the following five steps are applied: selection, description, juxtaposition, redescription, rectification and theory formation. The first step is the selection process which has already been done by selecting Winky D’s two songs of the album Eureka Eureka and the message of John the Baptist in Luke 3:7–14. The second step is description of the phenomena under comparison and this has been done when the Zimbabwean political landscape, the message of John the Baptist and Winky D’s songs have been analysed in detail. This section now moves on to juxtaposition of the messages of John the Baptist and Winky D in order to establish similarities and differences. In both messages, there is a call for social justice. John rebukes the tax collectors for demanding more than the prescribed tax and soldiers for using excessive forces. Winky D, on the other hand, rebukes those in authority for plundering the country’s resources at the expense of the poor. The plight of the poor and oppressed is at the centre of both the messages. John asks those with more to share with those with none, while Winky D rebukes those in authority to be considerate for the poor. In both messages there is a background environment characterised by violence, injustice, abuse of human rights, and disregard for the poor. In both messages, masses are called to actively engage in reforms and pursue justice.

However, there are some differences between the two messages as well. In the message of Winky D, there is no clarity as to how the audience should react after receiving the message. Winky D’s message is more of lament on the negative state of affairs that is not prescribing a solution. In the message of John the Baptist, the audience is expected to repent and get baptised. Repentance, in John the Baptist’s message, entails a change from negative actions of injustice to positive actions of justice, love and care. In John the Baptist’s message, there is positive response from the audience even from those in positions of authority like tax collectors and soldiers, while in Winky D’s message there are mixed reactions from general audience and those in authority. The other two steps of redescription and rectification are not relevant to this article. There is also no theory formation in this article except to uphold the long-viewed thesis that musicians have a prophetic role to play in the communities they operate.


Regardless of the noted differences between the two messages, the two played a similar role of being the spokespersons of their societies. Winky D might not be a prophet in the sense of the religious connotations of the term but his message in Eureka Eureka is prophetic in terms of challenging the evil status quo. The message of Winky D resonates well with the message of John the Baptist regardless of the two being separated by space and time. It is in light of this comparison that this article concludes that Winky D, through his latest album Eureka Eureka, has played a prophetic role in the Zimbabwean political discourse similar to the role played by John the Baptist in his 1st century AD Palestinian community.


Competing interests

The author declares that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Author’s contributions

I.S.G. is the sole author of this article.

Ethical considerations

No ethical clearance was required because no empirical research was conducted and followed all ethical standards for research.

Funding information

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this article, as no new data were created or analysed in this study.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the author.


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