Zim’s uncrowned dance goddess
21 December 2016
COMPLIMENTS of the new season!
It’s an honour contributing to this column in my own capacity as an actress, dancer, singer, choreographer and girl-chid activist.
With 16 years in the game, I have seen quite a lot and I have just decided to reflect on the journey I have travelled over the years.
Like any other entertainer who has been in the game for a while, I have plenty to share with my followers and aspiring performing artists.
To find out what I have to share with you, read on…
• BRIEF PROFILE
My real name is Kessia Masona, an energetic performer with a strong and deep voice which commands attention well on stage and leaves the fans mesmerised wanting more.
I dance so well that people wonder where I get all the energy from.
I was born in 1980 in Marondera being the last born in a family of six.
I was brought up in a music family where my father, mother brothers and sisters used to sing for me to eat porridge. For each spoon I ate they had to sing a song, so I guess this shows I was just born a music lover.
• MUSICAL JOURNEY
I started off in 1999 with the reggae group called Crucial Mix led by Ras Trevor Hall before I joined the Movers Jazz Band as one of the lead vocalists.
In the year 2009, I started my own band with the help of the Flame Pamberi Project at the Book Cafe.
I had the privilege to share the stage with the Soul Brothers , Dorothy Masuka , Jah Prazah , Dr Oliver Mtukudzi , Sulumani Chimbetu only but to mention a few.
I have also participated in local festivals like HIFA, International Images Festivals, Chimanimani Arts Festival, October Festival , Wafest and The Winter and Summer Jazz festivals.
I have a 10-track album called Gumbomutsvairo and will be releasing a single titled Learn to Say No February next year.
By the way I am not only a musician but an actress in my own right.
Currently, I am featuring in the Mirazvo Production ZTV sitcom called Muchaneta as one of the lead actresses.
This comedy drama has seen me gaining popularity both locally and abroad.
Sometimes fame comes in the least expected places because I thought music was what would make me popular but acting has done that instead.
I am also a TV presenter on a ZTV musical programme called Tshayingoma .
My vision is to leave a legacy for my kids and to be a role model to upcoming musicians and actors/actresses and give them tips on how to survive in performing arts through perseverance and patience.
I want women to empower women to work for themselves and look out for opportunity and encourage them to get educated I order to make informed decision in life and not rely on men for everything we need for survival.
A deep-rooted passion for the arts has made me what I am today.
The passion to succeed in life inspires me a lot to keep in the entertainment game.
My family too -especially my sisters and brother are my inspiration because they drive me to want to succeed by helping me with the kids when I need to do my artistic work, and just being there even financially when things are not moving well.
In short, their love inspires me.
The hardships or difficult situation I face in everyday life inspire me to work hard and it also makes me a strong willed person.
I am also inspired by my children because they drive me to work hard in order to provide for their needs.
Other women’s successes inspire me to want to succeed in life.
I can just say I am inspired by many things.
• ROLE MODELS
My role models are Aretha Franklin, I just love her voice and we have the same tone and fact that she has been in the music field for a long time speaks volumes of her integrity.
Academically, Professor Hope Cynthia Sadza is my role model because of how she has made it easier for women to go to University by her establishment of the Women’s University of Africa where 75 percent of the enrolment are women and this has made it possible for me to go back to school to pursue my BSC degree in Community Development Studies.
One of the major challenges I face in my career are promoters who want to ask me out before giving me a gig and this has affected my career because when you refuse, you do not get gigs.
There are also some club owners, who undervalue performance and offer peanuts forgetting that we also want to feed our families like them and I end up opting to stay at home.
I have been in the music industry for 16 years now and I have managed to last this distance through a very strong family support system.
My brother Stanley Masona, who has been playing my lead guitar throughout the years, has been supportive through thick and thin.
The NGO’s have also helped me by engaging me in their various Gender Based Violence campaigns and
Girls and Women empowerment programmes and some of them are One Billion Rising against GBV , The
Girls Legacy , Katswe Sisterhood , Roots , International Images Film Festival , ZWRCN just to mention a few.
These organisations have really helped me survive musically by giving me gigs and the claim that ‘women do not help each other’ is a lie because these women have helped me survive in the music industry.
My take on artists who abuse drugs is that they should stop since they are damaging themselves physically, mentally and socially.
The effects might not be seen now but eventually it can affect their well-being since many have died through drug overdose e.g. Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Jimmy Hendrix etc .
I say no to drugs because I am a living testimony that you can perform without taking drugs or alcohol Music itself gives me energy on stage, the moment I hear music my body gets so much energy.
The year 2016 has come with many achievements.
Firstly, going back to school at the Women’s University in Africa studying towards my BSC degree in Community Development Studies is one of the achievements.
Then landing a role as one of the lead actors in the Mirazvo Productions ZTV Comedy drama Muchaneta.
Coordinating various Gender Based Violence campaigns, and also becoming a TV presenter for the Ztv musical program Tshayingoma and got to MC many prominent events.
• XMAS MESSAGE
I would like to wish Zimbabweans a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Please do not drink and drive.
Remember that Christmas is a time of giving and showing people love especially the less privileged.
Happy reading…Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.
NB: Celebrities or celebrities’ managers intending to contribute to this column and share their stories, contact our Entertainment Desk on 0774119633 or trust.khosa@zimpapers .co.zw