The Sunday Mail
ANDY Muridzo is an angry man.
The body language says it all: facial tics, a muscle twitch just below the eye, clenched jaws, eyes reduced to slits.
Muridzo regrets ever putting his signature on the dotted line on a contract placed before him by Jah Prayzah’s Military Touch Movement (MTM) in early 2017.
Andy Murdizo and Jah Prayzah hailed the alliance as a masterstroke. Others — primarily The Sunday Mail Society — foresaw disaster.
That “dream move” is eliciting a different description from Muridzo today. He speaks of “trickery, cruelty and deceit”.
MTM has allegedly done very little, if anything, to deliver on its promises to the “Dherira” hit-maker.
Where thick rashers of bacon were expected, Muridzo says he has been fed crumbs.
When Muridzo released “Pakubuda Kwezuva” and “Ngarizhambe”, he presented himself as a direct rival to Jah Prayzah.
Which is why the critics found it strange that he would sign up for his great rival’s label.
Today, Muridzo agrees that he was wrong to capitulate, saying he is in “captivity” and going in circles as the title of his last offering, “Tichambotendera”, suggests.
“I no longer want anything to do with MTM. I want out. Rather, I’m practically out but still with them on paper. I have a five-year contract that I signed last year though I’m working on terminating it.
“I have not been attending MTM functions for some time now and that should be sending a clear message to everyone regarding my position with them,” says Muridzo.
“Not a single thing I was promised on the contract has been fulfilled. Actually, Jah Prayzah wants all the good things for himself. He is not willing to assist others and is not a saint as most of you imagine him to be.”
Muridzo claims he is not the only one thinking of leaving MTM.
“(Other MTM members) also want out but they are afraid to come out in the open. Ours is a case whereby we are locked in a room with trinkets to divert our attention from the bigger goal. We are being controlled so that we don’t realise our full potential and I’m saying no, enough is enough.
“How do you explain a situation whereby JP goes on to collaborate with hip-hop artistes when we have ExQ in the team or sets himself a collabo with a reggae artiste yet we have Nutty O in the movement?
“Would it not have made sense if Yemi Alade collaborated with Tahle, the only female MTM member? MTM ndeyekuitisana chete (MTM exists to exploit people for one man’s benefit).”
Muridzo says he started sensing all was not well just two months after signing up.
The contract says MTM will help Muridzo record, market and distribute his albums and also facilitate international collaborations.
But the “Tichambotenderera” album launch at 7 Arts Theatre in Harare last year in March was poorly advertised, thus attracting a sparse audience.
And the launch was dominated by Jah Prayzah’s promotion material.
Muridzo responded by not turning up for the annual OK Grand Challenge where MTM and dancehall sensation Killer T were scheduled to perform.
This year, he has snubbed a strictly by-invite “Angel Lo” video première at Jah Prayzah’s Belvedere, Harare base.
The video is for a collaboration song between JP and king of lovers rock and roots reggae, Jah Cure. It was shot in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
“Jah Prayzah has become a brand abroad and is the contact person for any foreign artiste requiring a collaboration with Zimbabwean artistes but the guy is abusing that privilege. He is converting every opportunity that arises for personal benefit.
“I was supposed to do a collaboration with Mozambican musician Mr Bow and Harmonize from Tanzania but again he grabbed the opportunities for himself. What then is the reason for this Movement when it only benefits one person? How many collabos has JP done in the past months and yet I’m still to win just a single one?”
As with most people when the chips are down, Muridzo is also philosophical about his situation.
“Everything in life happens for a reason. I’m not happy about the situation I currently find myself in but I must say the move was eye-opening. I learnt a lot and got to know the other side of Jah.”
Muridzo is putting final touches on an album entitled “Munondo” that is due for release on May 4.
And no, he is not recording it with MTM.
“I recorded the album with no help from MTM and as such it will not carry the MTM logo or any form of acknowledgement. Also, in the album I retrace my roots. I dropped the West African music style that MTM has been pushing me to do, returning to the traditional sound that made me a household name.
“… things have been hectic over the past months but I’m happy I have taken corrective measures. JP had access to my recorded but yet to be released music at MTM studios and that was creating serious challenges for me. I need to be my own man once again and determine my destiny, so yes this is it, hukama hwangu neMTM hwapera (my relationship with MTM is done). I don’t want to continue leaving in this mistake,” adds Muridzo.