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Gospel Music as a Mirror of the Political and Socio-Economic Developments in Zimbabwe, 1980-2007

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This paper explores, analyses and discusses Zimbabwean gospel song themes from 1980 up to 2007 in relation to the Zimbabwean political and socio-economic situations in the country. The history of the socio-economic and political development of Zimbabwe during 1980-2007 would certainly be incomplete without including gospel music. Until about the mid-1980s, the general atmosphere in the newly-independent state of Zimbabwe was characterized by liberation euphoria and great optimism for the future. Equally so, local gospel music during this period was largely celebrative and conformist as far as the political and socio-economic dispensation was concerned. Socio-economic hardships crept in as a result of the government's implementation of neo-liberal economic reforms under the guidance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the early 1990s. The ruling party soon found itself confronted by a multitude of gospel musicians criticizing its policies and malpractices. Works of various gospel artistes will be used as evidence but due to issues of space, it has not been possible to cover all Zimbabwean gospel artists.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer in Music at Great Zimbabwe University

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