Fungisai goes back to school


While conventional schools opened last week, gospel diva, Fungisai Zvakavapano Mashavave was not left out as she threw her pots and pans away to take up music lessons.

True to the statement that one will not stop learning until death; the 30-year-old songstress who also holds qualifications in cutting and designing, is taking up her music career to higher levels by taking up mbira playing lesson with a local college.

As she has been relying on session musicians to play instruments when ever she holds live performances, in a few months to come, it will be a thing of the past as she will emerge a “jack-of-all-trades”.

“For a sometime I have been going for the mbira lessons and in the next few weeks, I will emerge a polished mbira player,” she said.

The celebrated gospel diva went on to write on her Facebook page that; “Did my first solo performance playing mbira at the opening of the AIDS Conference on Monday . . . felt great . . .,” a clear reference that she is taking mbira music seriously.

Asked for comment, Fungisai’s mbira maestro, Takunda Mafika, confirmed taking Fungisai for mbira lessons.

“She has been taking up music lessons and they are going on very well,” said Mafika. “I am not at liberty to rate how she is performing in class; it is between me and her,” added Mafika before hanging up his phone.

Takunda Mafika, a front man for True Bantu has played for Selma Mtukudzi and Willom Tight and has spent most of his time in Germany teaching African musical instruments like mbira and hosho.

Asked how she balanced her demanding music career, house chores, and studies, the chart — toping musician, who broke into the music scene in 2000, said it was by God’s grace.

“With Jesus on my side, how easy it is to balance family and my careers. It has proved to be very easy but we are managing though it can be a challenge because I have other things to do on top of music like designing clothes as well as my studies but I manage with the help of my husband and family.

Fungisai Zvakavapano Mashavave, who is married to Courage, a banker, has seven albums to her belt but holds Kurarama Inyasha as a song that holds special memories as it brought her to limelight.

Fungisai joins Alexio “Shaina” Kawara, Diana Samkange, Teererei Mugwadi and Pauline Gunduza among other musicians who have taken up mbira lessons with the intention of fusing the sounds into their music.

But the question that many of her fans will to ask is whether it is appropriate to incorporate mbira in her music. Time will tell!