PREMIERE: Chimurenga Renaissance Stare Down Fear in “Peace Always Has a Price” Video
The joint project of Shabazz Palaces's Tendai Maraire and Hussein Kalonji gets a powerful visual.
Chimurenga Renaissance is the joint project of Tendai Maraire and Hussein Kalonji. The name comes from the Shona language of Zimbabwe, and it generally means “struggle” or “fight,” but in its historical context, it also means a very specific fight: that pitched between black African insurrectionists and the white colonial government. Zimbabweans have fought two such chimurengas, the first in the late nineteenth century and the second from 1966 to 1979.
Maraire is a classically trained Shona musician—and with Digable Planets’s Ishmael Butler one half of the afrofuturist group Shabazz Palaces—and his father was largely responsible for bringing Zimbabwean music to Seattle around the time of the Second Chimurenga. It is, to put it lightly, a loaded term for he and Kalonji (whose father is a celebrated Congolese musician), as is the name of Chimurenga Renaissance’s latest EP, Girlz With Gunz. The title refers to the women who fought valiantly in that second war and were a crucial element of Zimbabwe’s liberation from colonial rule.
It’s these women who are celebrated in the video for “Peace Always Has a Price,” which we’re premiering this morning. Black women with blown-out hair cradle machine guns. A veiled woman holding an AK-47 stares deeply into the eye of a camera that tracks away as quickly as it can. It’s a highly provocative set of visuals in any context, but in a political environment that has both highlighted and exacerbated the vulnerability of black women and the safety of Muslim people in general, it feels defiant, a mini chimurenga of its own. Check it out below.
Girlz with Gunz is out now.