Bulawayo– The disbandment of the ‘Mbende/Jerusalema’ drumbeat which heralded the start and end of news bulletins on ZBCTV has caused wide spread controversy on social media, the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting reveals.
Jerusalema’s removal has caused quite a stir on social media, as people have diverging opinions on whether the move is appropriate or not.
Others believe the removal of the famous drumbeat to many Zimbabweans is a progressive thing while others bemoan the loss of our signature cultural expression.
“I think the drumbeat should return. It was a true reflection of our identity as Zimbabweans,” Innocent Gore tweeted.
Cde Never Maswerasei was also in support of the return of the sound saying, “The removal of the drumbeat is equal to changing our national flag and heritage.It is equal to renaming Masvingo to something else.There are certain things that should remain part of our tradition no matter what.You cannot replace the Zimbabwean bird with a Namibian Flamingo,” he said.
For Kgosi Nyathi, the Jerusalema Mbende dance, that accompanies the drumbeat is the only Zimbabwean element listed under UNESCO’s representative list of the intangible Cultural heritage of Humanity.
However, many youths believe the removal of the sound was a necessary evil,as change is necessary if the country is to move forward socially and economically.
Bongani Prynce Madlala revealed that for him the drumbeat was a thorn in the flesh, and he had no regrets that it was done away with.
“Let’s move on, that drum beat was irritating, you should be telling us that you will improve graphics we see behind news presenters because honestly a Early Childhood Development (ECD) can design a better background….Who came up with that TV like thing on the top left corner because that person should be fired,”
AbaYah Yasharael shared the same sentiments, and for him the extinction of ZBC as a whole was a necessary evil.
“No one really cares. Whatever, after all ZBC is not something I am proud of to be honest. If possible close the whole damn ZANU-PF mouth piece,” he said.
This is not the first time the drumbeat has been removed.
“It was once removed sometime in 2002-3 and all hell broke loose in ways that surprised and disappointed me. I discovered that zvinu zvacho zvine vano vazvo. The removal was not longer than ABC. It was terrible,” the self exiled Professor Jonathan Moyo said.