Thomas Mapfumo Biography: Age, Songs, Career & Net Worth


Thomas Mapfumo (born 3 July 1945) is a musician nicknamed “The Lion of Zimbabwe” and “Mukanya” for his immense popularity and for the political influence he wields through his music.

Thomas Mapfumo

Thomas Mapfumo Age

He was born on the 3rd of July 1945 in Marondera, Mashonaland East. As of 2023, he is 78 years old and celebrates his birthday on July 3rd every year.


At the age of 16, Thomas Mapfumo became a singer for his first band, the Zutu Brothers (although Encyclopaedia Britannica claims it was the Cyclones). From that point on, he was constantly playing in bands, such as The Wagon Wheels, which featured guitarist James Chimombe and Afro-jazz musician Oliver Mtukudzi. He also occasionally worked odd jobs on the side, such as raising chickens. The Hallelujah Chicken Run Band was the name of his band in 1972 as a result.

Up until he joined the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band, he mainly covered American rock and soul songs by artists like Otis Redding or Elvis Presley. He introduced the novel idea of fusing contemporary rock instruments with traditional Shona music there.

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He collaborated with guitarist Joshua Dube (Jonah Sithole, according to the Leopard Man’s Africa Music Guide) to transfer the mbira, the main instrument of traditional Shona music, to the electric guitar. Additionally, he switched from singing in English to primarily singing in the Shona language.


  • Gwindingwi Rine Shumba (1981, Chimurenga Music)
  • Mabasa (1983, Chimurenga Music, Gramma Records)
  • Ndangariro (1983, Afro Soul)
  • Chimurenga For Justice (1985, Rough Trade)
  • Mr Music (Africa) (1985, Afro Soul)
  • Zimbabwe Mozambique (1988, Chimurenga Music)
  • Chamunorwa (1989, Chimurenga Music)
  • Varombo Kuvarombo (1989, Chimurenga Music)
  • Corruption (1989, Mango)
  • Chimurenga Masterpiece (1990, Chimurenga Music)
  • Hondo (1991, Chimurenga Music)
  • Chimurenga International (1993, Chimurenga Music)
  • Roots Chimurenga (1996, Chimurenga Music)
  • Sweet Chimurenga (1996, Chimurenga Music)
  • Afro Chimurenga (1996, Chimurenga Music)
  • Chimurenga ’98 (1998, Anonymous Web Productions)
  • Live at El Rey (1999, Anonymous Web Productions)
  • Chimurenga Explosion (2000, Anonymous Web Productions)
  • Chimurenga Rebel (2002, Anonymous Web Productions)
  • Rise Up (2006, Real World Records)
  • Exile (2010, Sheer Sound)
  • Danger Zone (2015, Chimurenga Music Company)
  • Live @ The Sanctuary for Independent Media (2016, Chimurenga Music)
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Thomas Mapfumo Net Worth

He has an estimated net worth of $200,000 which he has earned as a musician.


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