Great potential is gazing through the face of Zimbabwe, a country that has produced a lot of regionally and internationally recognised musicians including the likes of Chiwoniso Maraire.
Nurtured and ready for the world is self-acclaimed mbira artist Hope Masike.
Her music has been occasionally likened to that of Chioniso and Hope in an interview with Newsday says she is ready to change the world through music.
Tinashe Sibanda (TS): What is your full name?
Hope Masike (HM): I am Rumbidzai Hope Masike and I use Hope because I just prefer that name.
TS: When did you discover your musical talent?
HM: From a very tender age I knew I was an artist but I wasn’t sure which would be my favourite between fine art and music.
TS: How would you describe your music genre?
HM: I can’t start categorising my music now, I’m only three years old in the industry and I’m still experimenting. So far I’ve worked with traditional African music and jazz.
TS: Some of your fans have compared you to Chiwoniso Maraire, how do you see that?
HM: I feel so honoured being compared to big names like Chiwoniso though our music is totally different she is an inspiration to me. It’s probably because we share certain things in common like dread locks, playing the mbira and the nose ring.
TS: Which places have you toured so far?
HM: I have been to Mozambique, South Africa, Netherlands and Norway but more of a cultural ambassador in groups for cultural exchange programmes.
TS: Tell me about your album Hope.
HM: It is my first and only album so far, it’s self titled. I wrote the songs after being inspired by various day to day situations.
TS: Tell me about your song Ndinewe. Was it a special dedication to anyone in particular?
HM: Actually it’s a dedication to God my creator who is with me in everything I do.
TS: Who is your role model?
HM: Salif Keita, I love his music and his history as a rejected albino but he stood against all odds.
TS: Do your family members support your career?
HM: My mom passed away but my dad is very supportive but he always says it is also wise to have other professional qualifications. We are seven girls and two boys and it is amazing how they have all strongly supported me.
TS: Do you have any professional qualifications?
HM: I studied Applied Art and Design then I went on to study fine art and now I am currently doing Ethnomusicology with the Zimbabwe College of Music. I am also doing a bachelor’s degree in jazz.
TS: What do you aim to achieve in the coming years?
HM: I want to be an icon for young Africans and play my role as a musician in poverty eradication in Africa. I want to stand up for the women and the disabled as well.
TS: Are you in a relationship?
HM: No, I’m very single and not searching for now.
TS: What challenges have you faced as a musician?
HM: My only challenge is that we do not have an arts industry yet in Zimbabwe; a society with competent support systems. The industry needs to be equipped with both professionals and amateurs.