Queen Mashie set for a Hifa Debut

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KENYAN-BASED Afro-fusion songstress Sandra Mashiringo, aka Queen Mashie, sister of the late legendary guitarist Andy Brown, is set to make her debut appearance on stage at the Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) that roars into life on Tuesday.

Simbarashe Manhango

She will perform at the Coca-Cola Green Stage on Saturday May 3, singing her authentic and unique sound fused with mbira sweet melodies together with Swahili, a feature that unifies her gorgeous melodies.

With three albums to her name, Queen Mashie, Kare Kare (2005), and Mbijana Mbijana (2011), she will also be introducing her single titled Godo, off her forthcoming album, Time.

NewsDay caught up with Queen Mashie and she was highly excited about her Hifa debut, promising fans a good dance and mature music.

“I am super excited about this and I can’t wait. It is an honour to be performing at Hifa considering it will be my first time. This has grown to be one of the biggest festivals in Africa and this could prove to be a milestone in my musical career.

“I can’t wait and I have always been ready for my Hifa debut.  I am going to be introducing my single as well and definitely sing greatest hits by my late brother. His music lives in me and still inspires me a lot,” the Afro-fusion singer said.

The former backing vocalist in The Storm commands a huge following in Kenya yet she is hardly known here in her homeland.

Although Mashie admits that this has had a negative effect on her blossoming career locally, she is ready to relocate to Zimbabwe and focus on building a lasting career.

“If it means coming back to my country, I am prepared to do that. I feel like I have starved my country musically. I need to be doing more of live shows and market my music. So far I am working flat out to popularise my music and build a fan base that could see me scale to dizzy heights,” Queen Mashie said.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, she still embraces the experience she got during her stint with The Storm, a band founded by her late brother Brown.
“I got my experience from The Storm and I will always treasure that. Andy was very tough, he groomed me to be the calibre of artist I am now. Without him, I don’t think anyone would have realised the talent in me and encouraged me to take up music as a career,” she said.

Queen Mashie is also the founder of the October Women Festival which was formed in 2013 and has become an annual fete in Nairobi.

With her unique style, combined into a fresh weaving Afro-jazz, mbira, folk sprinkled with Swahili spice, Mashie’s music has been making waves through East Africa, gracing stages of prominent festivals such as Sauti za Busara (Zanzibar), Women in Jazz (Zimbabwe), and Afro Sinodo held in Manchester, the United Kingdom.

After her Hifa performance Queen Mashie has a couple of gigs lined up for her in the capital, Harare before she goes back to Kenya to wrap up her forthcoming album.