Hours after news of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli’s death broke, a dozen of Tanzanian musicians took to the studio to record tribute songs.
Leading them was pop singer Raymond Shaban Mwakyusa, better known as Rayvanny, whose song Kifo (Magufuli), an emotional number, hit YouTube immediately after the announcement was made.
He lauded the late president for his development record as well as his support for the youth. In the video, the former Wasafi Classic Baby (WCB) signee looks overcome with grief as he recalls the moments he shared with Magufuli.
“You have left a mark, memories that will last forever. I do not think anyone will be able to fill the void you have left. My heart grieves, we are in such pain. You have done great work. Fare-thee-well and rest…,” Rayvanny sings.
Rayvanny’s voice is just one of the many by the country’s creatives to sing Magufuli’s praises. He was one of the top artistes who supported Magufuli during his campaigns for a second term with the release of a political praise song Magufuli Jembe, besides attending public rallies alongside the president.
Diamond Platnumz (real name Naseeb Abdul), another key Magufuli supporter also led his WCB artistes in recording tribute songs. Other top artistes in the country like Ali Saleh Kiba and Rajabu Kahali (Harmonize) joined in eulogising the late president.
Magufuli cemented his relationship with the young generation, enjoying massive support from artistes who shaped the youth’s opinion to support his bid during the last October polls.
Diamond, who previously was seen to have had bad blood with Magufuli’s government made an about-turn and threw his support behind the CCM leader, a move that saw him release the Magufuli Baba Lao song in July 2020.
His then-rival Harmonize penned a new song Magufuli as Faustina Mfinaga, better known as Nandy, released Magufuli Tena.
Around the same time, the president brokered peace between Diamond, Harmonize and Ali Kiba, to end a long-running feud.
“I feel good when I see Ali Kiba seated next to Diamond. When you see Harmonize who left Diamond Platnumz praising him in public, that is the unity I want. I thank you for supporting CCM,” Magufuli said during one of his campaign rallies where he had invited the three stars.
Magufuli would then acknowledge the musicians publicly and reward them.
Diamond’s manager Nasibu Abdul Juma alias Babu Tale was given a free hand to clinch the Morogoro Mashariki Constituency seat on a CCM ticket.
Leading rapper Hamis Mwinjuma aka Mwana FA had been appointed board member of the country’s National Arts Council (Basata) before winning the Muheza parliamentary seat, also on a CCM ticket.
Popular actress and model Wema Sepetu has previously been appointed by Magufuli to government as he pledged to have his administration enact policies favourable to the youth.
Tanzania is one of the most populous nations in Africa, with 28 million of its 55 million population being under 25, making it one of the youngest populations on earth, according to UN World Population Prospects forecast.
“The president knew the influence of the youth particularly in these elections and offered them goodies. He gave them direct nominations or pledged positions to them as he constituted his next government,” said Abdul Abasi, an expert on youth affairs.
He added, “That popular stars like Diamond Platnumz, Wema Sepetu, Mwana FA and Babu Tale, who are seen as role models for the youth supported him was enough to convince young people to re-elect him.”
The Chama Cha Mapinduzi leader died aged 61. News of his death was broken by Tanzania’s Vice President Suluhu Hassan on State television.
Magufuli had not been seen in public for more than two weeks, with rumours circulating about his health. Tanzania opposition politicians particularly questioned his absence. He was last seen in public on February 27.