Cris Gera is a popular musician in Zimbabwe. His songs have been played repeatedly on the radio the past few years. He has three albums to his name, including The Advice (2011), Sango Rinopa Waneta (2010) and Music in Me Reloaded (2016). Some of his most popular songs are: ‘Every time’, ‘Sango Rinopa Waneta’, ‘Dollar’, ‘Unity’, ‘Going Crazy’, ‘Kukanyaira’, ‘Rudo Kechipiri’, ‘Mangwanani,’ ‘Mazirimi’ and ‘Chema Zimbabwe’ (Cry Zimbabwe) (2016).
Chema Zimbabwe was released in 2016 and was shared and popularized through social media platforms. The song, a lament of the political, economic and social malaise in Zimbabwe, made Gera subject to harassment from government supporters, who took the song as direct critique of the authorities’ politics. In fear of his life, he fled to South Africa late 2016.
A translated draft of the text from Chema Zimbabwe goes like this:
They are the only ones with full stomachs, while some of us sleep on empty stomachs’…
It’s an issue of poverty and unemployment, that’s all…It’s an issue of bread and butter, my fathers
That’s why we are crying
It’s an issue of corruption, there is too much corruption
That’s making us cry
Our elder, we beseech you
We are not disrespecting you, please hear us We want jobs, we want food
We are hungry, please fix things.
Gera never saw his song as political, but rather as a grieving of the current state of affairs in his country. He says that he is not a revolutionary, but writes music to the people and his children, about life in Zimbabwe.
Gera arrived in Piteå Friday 12 January and hopes that he can return to his country, to his family and fans after his two years ICORN residency in Piteå. Meanwhile, he looks forward to continue to produce music, perform and develop his career as musician during his stay in Piteå.
The city of Piteå is situated in the Northern part of Sweden. They joined ICORN in June 2016 and Cris Gera is their first ICORN resident.
In the media
18.01.2018 My NewsDesk Piteå: Musikern Cris har fått en fristad i Piteå
18.01.2018 SVT Norrbotten: Musikern Chris får fristad i Piteå – skrev kritisk sång
18.01.2018 Hör sången som fick Cris på flykt
18.01.2018 Musikern från Zimbabwe har fått en fristad i Piteå