Lovey-dovey moments can easily turn sour.
In such emotional suffering, a powerful song can pick you up to take on the day.
I have had a fair share of disappointments (that’s what I like to call them).
In that moment flooded with anger, sadness, rejection, and hurt, a song can be the much needed ‘pick me up’.
The right song can do more than just ‘picking you up’ it can be the perfect soundtrack to your day every time self-esteem tries to escape and disillusion attempts to drown you.
In 1978, afraid and petrified, Gloria Gaynor held her head up high and survived.
In a neck brace and having lost her mother a few months earlier she did more than that with the song ‘I will survive’.
The song has been empowering generations all over the world.
It went platinum and continues to be a hit at many parties, karaoke hangouts and break ups.
In my lowest heartache moments, I always find time to put up very interesting angry play lists, ranging from Toni Braxton’s Why Should I Care and Stupid, Brandy’s Broken Hearted and Pink’s Please Don’t Leave Me.
I let the music take over and that somehow enables me to take on the day.
Let’s take a walk down heartbreak lane and allow me to share some of the most delightfully miserable, beautiful heart break songs that Zimbabwean artists have written.
Top on the list is Susan Mapfumo’s empowering anthem Handitambwe Iyoyo.
She sings about how her person was the first to do her wrong in a way that she has never allowed anyone to treat her.
There are very few lyrics in the song but they are enough to show a hard working hard loving woman who is disappointed because her love now has her in his home and is treating her abominably.
From the classic album Ancient Voices, Chiwoniso Maraire gave us the melancholic Wandirasa.
That one word expresses what rejection really is- someone discarding you because they think you’re worthless.
The perfect day for one of those days when you just want to wallow in your sadness, somehow finding pleasure in all the gloomy misery.
The song Zvirinani was inspired by a mild experience of disappointment that turned into a verse and I had to exaggerate the experience a bit so I could write two verses.
It encompasses all the regret that heartbreak can bring—being cheated on, tearful moments, rejection, time and money wasted. I figured someone had to say that it’s ok to be alone sometimes.
When I first heard Baba Bhoyi, I smiled.
It was lovely to hear the golden girl of jazz tell it like it is.
Prudence Katomeni’s voice pours of marital frustration, and she somehow makes it sound like a love song.
The song, she says was co-written with Robert Montega, a member of the Victoria Falls Mandebvu Band.
A man actually came up with the idea. As women, we tend to talk about ourselves.
He approached me with the song and I added some lines to it. As I worked on it and my album, I heard a lot from women who shared a need for their partners to be a lot more hands on with the children.
All this made it even more important to have the song out there so that those words would be heard.’
Let me tell you that there is nothing like a heartbreak song that you can sing along to and dance to and that is exactly what Selmor Mtukudzi was able to achieve with Nguva Yangu.
It is by far the most known song Angry and passionate!
When I asked her what inspired the song she said: “It was a real life experience. Not my own though. But, I definitely can’t tell you who. You’d be interested to know that the one who wasted someone’s time was the girl’.
Maybe someday interested parties can bid for the name like Carly Simon did with the song ‘You’re so vain’.
Talking about heartbreak dance songs, the queen of urban grooves love ballads, Plaxedes Wenyika, surprised us when she released a ‘housey’ unshackling song, Emancipation.
The song is a narration of how a relationship starts off sweet and then things start to fall apart, leading to the one part taking their heart away from the situation.
Talking about hearts, Cindy in 2008 surprised her fans with a heart wrenching single Ndidzorere moyo wangu.
For me that song will always be my favourite Cindy song. Honestly, after a heartbreak how many of us have wished it were as simple as asking for one’s heart back.
If wishes were horses!
The rock guitar in the song also seems to take us through all the heartbreak moods. It’s a beautiful song.
Tina Masawi’s Haundidaro was inspired by a period of growth that I was going through, and the typical behaviour of ruining relationships then expecting to come back after a while and find a person still waiting for them.
It’s a recurring conversational theme among my peers and I thought that a lot of people could relate to a song about it.
Many of us can indeed relate.
Ladies are not the only ones who have penned incredibly liberating songs.
The late Paul Matavire was a very humorous and a talented artiste. He had a way of shaking up ‘the man’ and bringing up society issues and we would dance to them too.
Ndagumbuka is a classic record.
For me, my favorite part of the song is the guitar especially in the first two bars of the song.
Hearing a man talk about disappointment so deep he sheds tears reflects on how deep the pain is for him.
Hanzi “Ndagumbuka saka misodzi yobuda”, that is the whole song for me.
The late James Chimombe in the eighties lent his voice to a woman’s tale of woe brought on by a man named George.
Remember that notorious George who used and abused his woman with promises he would marry her.
George Mudiwa wangu isn’t the only heartache song that the legend left us.
He also gave us Zvaiitika and Siya Wawoneka.
In the past few years, we have also had the new school step up after all misery does love company.
Sam Dondo’s Peka Uende makes for the perfect breakup song inspired by a friend whose wife had been cheating him after he had done all he could for her.
It was a very sad story but I also did a bit of embellishing to give the song its current form.
Nyasha David’s Chinosiya Maoko was inspired by ‘a series of similar breakups.
It’s a healing heartbreak song about how memories from the past can be used to be stronger by cherishing the moments. After all, the things we can let go off are things that are tangible that we can grasp in our hands.
“Matters of the heart are totally different and healing happens in its own time,” some very wise words from a young man who is known as the advocate of love.
This year alone, Kae Chaps’ Juzi went viral, as he took an angle of a scorned lover who cannot stand to see the things that his lover left behind, in particular a jersey.
The song made us recall all those items tucked away in our homes that we aren’t brave enough to throw away or strong enough to face every day. Popular award winning afro contemporary group Fusion5 Mangwiro and Mwenje Mathole a few weeks ago released a beast of a track called Kuhope.
There isn’t anything I could say about this song that would do justice to it.
It describes those moments of weakness when you find yourself missing the ‘enemy’.
Trevor Dongo’s single titled ‘Let me go’ explores a different angle trying to make things work but the other party is adamant to let go and when finally you let go they come back.
A tale as old as time!
So what’s your favourite go-to girl or guy power or heartbreak song?
If at all anything these songs are a reminder that we are not alone in all these emotions and there is nothing new under the sun.
If someone went through that and survived it, so can you!