When Jibilika, PEPFAR Push For Change In Yeke Yeke Narrative

By Kudakwashe Pembere

It’s about time the tables on sexual behaviour are turned and setting the pace is Jibilika Dance Trust which on Saturday in Glen View 3 holds several activities such as unveiling a mural, a music concert and skateboarding.

The free gig dubbed Positivity concert features musicians such as Ba Shupi, Fireman, ProBeatz, Dingo, Nargee and Zimdancehall diva Kadjah. The events are supported by PEPFAR which celebrates 15 years of helping people living with HIV

Engaging in unprotected sex puts people at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Avert, a website on Global information and education on HIV and AIDS states that during unprotected sex, HIV can be transmitted via the bodily fluids of an infected person (blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-cum or anal mucus) to their sexual partner.

Running under the theme Yeke Yeke Maya (No To Unprotected Sex), these activities take me back in the day when Zimbabwean music was not yet tainted with sexually intoned lyrics when the late Fortune Muparutsa hit us with a punchline.

“Shandisa condom condom condom condom (condomise),” he chanted in the song Wangu ndega, a smash hit always on repeat in my playlist.

Despite the line sounding obscene to many during that time, if followed to the tee, it would have saved one too many lives.

Those were the heydays when music was laden with lifesaving messages.

Another track from the then Bootkin Clan for the youth by the youth was called Vabereki which denounced risky sexual behaviours.

These two tracks had the touch of dancehall before the genre bloomed around 2013.

The proliferation of Dancehall culture in the country saw the rise and booming of the genre in the country, the fountain of good messages was polluted with sexual overtones.

Grave yards are running out of space with the social narrative long overdue needing to be tweaked.  Its about time we bury those sexual undertones in our lyrics instead of our future leaders. Many a youth have been dying young due to risky sexual behaviour supposedly perpetuated by Zimdancehall musicians.

Zimdancehall musicians for a while have been battering the young and old with dirty songs, particularly those that promote risky sexual behaviours.

Musicians are the most influential people in society given the immense influence they have on their huge fanbase.

Godfather Templeman, a connoisseur in promoting the genre refers to the artists as voices for the voiceless. When they sing or chant those messages on Yekedero we are going to dig more of the youth’s graves. They are no different from the voice of the grim reaper.

Most youths look up to these Zimdancehall musicians with more singing imitating them.

Since the expose of musician Andy Muridzo’s unprotected sexcapades with racy dancer Bev, a term was coined Yekedero shortened to Yeke implying unprotected sex.

They say sex sells and as the adage goes, musicians in Zimbabwe have been using this to leap to stardom.

Jah Signal, Soul Jah Love are among those coming with songs about unprotected sex.

“Ndinoda kupinda kubako. Ndinoda kupinda mubako. Ndinoda kupinda yekedero. Ndinoda kupinda yekedero (I want to have unprotected sex),” he sings.

He even upped the notch with coining a term stoyeni,

Jah Love goes like this, “Saka bhebhi varatidze CV Magwaro emuTV tichirova yeke yeke yeke yekedero( SO baby, show them your CV, the TV type of CV and lets have unprotected sex.)”

In actual fact the promotion of sex is a signature trait in dancehall music even from Jamaica.

As if this was not enough, fastest rising musician Enzo Ishall’s breakthrough was when he featured on the obscenely named Panom**** riddim with the song Chiita kwacho.

Itching to drop a song with such illicit lyrics, most local dancehall musicians have been down that road of singing these illicit songs with many upcoming musicians in that genre likely following that path.

Killer T, Seh Calaz (who went to caught for a song Hohwa), Winky D, Boom Betto, Boss Pumacol and many more dropped songs pregnant with sexual innuendo.

The event would have been more impactful if the likes of Soul Jah Love, Seh Calaz, Jah Signal, and Enzo Ishall volunteered to perform as a sign of showing remorse by correcting their lyrics to save lives rather than sending them to the grave.

Otherwise, an issue lingers whether these dancehall musicians are willing to promote an agenda for safe sex or not. It is my wish they turn anti-risky sexual behaviours to a social propaganda.

These musicians with their influence could join the Health and Child Care Ministry alongside Non-Governmental Organisations, international development cooperations, the PEPFAR to mention but these in driving the AIDS scourge out of this country.

So I repeat, Lets Bury the Yeke Yeke or Stonyeni Narrative more than we as Undertakers are digging graves.



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