Playing with Fire

Fear and Self-censorship in Zimbabwean Music

Banning Eyre


  • Freemuse
  • Copenhagen
  • 2001
  • English
  • Paperback
  • 102 pages

The book is available as a free downloadable PDF.


This book details the contemporary situation in Zimbabwe and examines three case studies: 1) the reported restriction of two Thomas Mapfumo songs during and after the 2000 elections, 2) incidents surrounding the controversial Oliver Mtukudzi song “Wasakara,” and 3) the failed effort to launch Zimbabwe’s first independent radio station, Capital Radio, in late 2000.


When music is banned the very soul of a culture is being strangled. Ban a music
culture for a decade and a whole generation grows up without an essential
cultural reference. - Marie Korpe, Freemuse


Banning Eyre is a guitarist, writer, photographer, and producer specializing in the music of Africa. He has produced the Peabody Award-winning radio show Afropop Worldwide and is author of several books on African music