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Identity
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What’s my identity?
What’s my identity meant to be?
Is my identity meant to be a white boy from Zimbabwe?
Is my identity meant to be veldskoens and rugby?
Or is my identity meant to be an English boy drinking tea?
Watching Arsenal on TV
Shopping on Oxford street
Listening to rock and break beat
Or should my identity defy expectation
Defy nation
Defy time and place
Defy class and race
Shock each one calling me kaffir
Shock each one calling me murehwa[i]
Wipe the bullshit from their eyes
Make them see me for I ‘n’ I
‘Cause you won’t see me in your history books
So take a good look
You won’t see me on ZBC[ii]
‘Cause that’s just not me
Ndiri mwana wevhu, ndiri mwana weconcrete[iii]
I’m a child of the soil, I’m a soul of the street

(Refrain) Ndiani opinda nawo mwenje mudziva
Ano bvunza rino gwiti nezvechitupa
Wongorora
Tarisisa
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo
Ndiani opinda nawo mwenje mudziva
Ano bvunza rino gwiti nezvechitupa
Wongorora
Tarisisa
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo[iv]

You wanna put me in a box
Cut out my tongue, chop off my locks
You want me to fit your stereotype
You want me to fit your stereotype of being white
Well I don’t fit into a nation of steotypes
One, the name’s Farai, handiti[v]
Ende yes, ndiri muvheti[vi]
Two, I ain’t no agent of the imperialists
Fuck that, I’m very indigenous!
My roots run from Shamva to Bikita
So you can choke on your hate propaganda
‘Cause I’m descended from Nehanda[vii]
I’m desended from every freedom fighter
Regardless of tribe or skin colour
‘Cause my ideals are what define me
Not my P-I-G-M-E-N-T
Our identities are fluid as the Zambezi
Our rivers’ll rise soon ‘n’ then you’ll see

(Refrain) Ndiani opinda nawo mwenje mudziva
Ano bvunza rino gwiti nezvechitupa
Wongorora
Tarisisa
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo
Ndiani opinda nawo mwenje mudziva
Ano bvunza rino gwiti nezvechitupa
Wongorora
Tarisisa
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo
Toyi toyi chimurenga ndiwo mutupo

[i] White boy
[ii] State-run Zimbabwe Broadcatsing Corporation
[iii] I’m a child of the soil, I’m a child of the concrete
[iv] Who walks into the lake holding a candle
(Traditional Shona Proverb signifying one who’s stupid)
And asks this freedom fighter for an identity card
Hold on
Look
Struggle is my totem
Struggle is my identity
Struggle is my totem
[v] One, the name’s Farai (traditional Shona name)  isn’t it
[vi] And yes, I’m a white boy
[vii] Liberation war hero

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Ndeipi Genga! [i]

Ndeipi genga, ari sei sei marunnings!
Mahwani, rega tirove maone one[ii]
But maone one often become matwo two[iii]
And we end up leaving the club kuma to two[iv]
’Cause we’re a nation of drinkers
Brown bottles become blinkers
Patrons where once there were thinkers
Thinking where the money for the next drink is
’Cause we only revolt in bottle stores
Where revolution becomes bar talk
Brown bottles become megaphones for bar-stool politicians
And watch out ’cause scud missiles are our secret weapons
Yes, we want change
We want it now!
That’s if it’s enough to buy the next round
Like I said, we’re revolting in bottle stores
Tomorrow we carry this to the shop-floors
Where we’ll charge in with our colonial hangovers
That don’t allow us to revolt when sober

(REFRAIN) Ndeipi genga, ari sei sei marunnings!
Mahwani, rega tirove maone one
Ndeipi genga, ari sei sei marunnings!
Mahwani, rega tirove maone one.


So the next day the babarazi army and bar-stool politicians deploy[v] themselves in their millions
And disguise themselves as normal civilians
Some selling air-time, others veggies
Some walking, some in Mercedes
Mostly men but some ladies
All thinking about tonight’s strategies
So, they go about their individual runnings
Very cunning
Appearing isolated in their day-to-day hustlings
All thinking about tonight’s regrouping
Pakupera pezuva vasangana kubawa
Vachiaddresswa naGeneral Kudhakwa na Comrade Hwahwa
Baya wa baya aaaaaaaah
Yowerere yave nyama yekugocha![vi]
As the warriors of today attack the braai-ing meat with revolutionary fervour[vii]
Militant discussions progress further and further
Freedom fighters become scuba divers diving deeper and deeper
Into a militant dissident drunken stupor
As the announcement comes from General Kudhakwa
“Comrades, our strategy is to retreat and go no further
Comrades, I have news that maybe things will get better
Comrades, pamwe zvichananka!”[viii]

(REFRAIN) Ndeipi genga, ari sei sei marunnings!

Mahwani, rega tirove maone one

Ndeipi genga, ari sei sei marunnings!

Mahwani, rega tirove maone one.


[i] What’s up guys
[ii] Ndeipi genga, ari sei sei marunnings . . .= What’s up guys? How’s everything? / It’s tight. Let’s have one each.
[iii] maone; matwo=one beer; two beers
[iv] kuma to two=around 2 a.m.
[v] babarazi=hungover
[vi] Pakupera pezuva vasangana kubawa . . . =At the end of the day, / being addressed by General Drunkard and Comrade Beer / They stab and stab, pierce and pierce, strike and strike. / Now the meat is being barbecued (Parody of traditional war song)
[vii] Braai-ing = barbecuing
[viii] pamwe zvichananka = maybe it will get better