SOUTH AFRICA-BASED Zimbabwean gospel musician, Alpha Nyaradzai Nhambure, has engaged the services of fellow gospel musician, Gift Mahlupeka, as her manager after the release of her third eight-track album, Vanotigarira Dare.
The album was co-produced by Charles Ayibeki and Tatenda Makumbe. The Gutu-bred Nhambure has adopted a new stage name, Makoti. NewsDay Weekender Arts Reporter, Winstone Antonio (ND), caught up with Nhambure (AN) from her South Africa base and she opened up on the recent developments and below are excerpts of the interview.
ND: Can you introduce yourself?
AN: My name is Alpha Nyaradzai Nhambure and I was born 35 years ago in Gutu. I’m a mother of two, and a civil engineer by profession.
ND: On the showbiz scene, you have been known as Alpha Nyaradzai Nhambure. Why the sudden change to Makoti?
AN: On my second album titled Muzita Rashe, I had a song called Makoti, which was very popular with my fans that they started calling me Makoti. So I have decided to adopt it as my stage name.
ND: Can we say Nhambure was born a musician or it is something that came along the way?
AN: Music is my passion and on that one, I can say, yes, I was born a musician, although the talent started to fully manifest in 2014. My musical journey started during my primary school days as a member of the school choir.
I went on to advance my passion for music at Loreto Secondary School in Silobela and later at university (National University of Science and Technology).
ND: For how long have you been in the music industry?
AN: I have been in the professional music industry for three years, having released my first album in 2014. My strength, when composing music, is infusing a message that transforms one’s life, while at the same time winning souls to the Kingdom of God.
ND: Who is your role model?
AN: Since my childhood, I was charmed by Olivia Charamba’s compositions and for that, she qualifies to be my role model in my career.
ND: I understand you have engaged Gift Mahlupeka as your manager?
AN: Mahlupeka is one of the top gospel musicians in Zimbabwe and after seeing his success in this competitive genre, I decided to engage him as my manager and I believe he will help me rise to the top.
ND: Early this year, there were allegations that went viral on the showbiz scene that you were dating Mahlupeka. What’s your response?
AN: It is disheartening. There is nothing (no love relationship) between me and Mahlupeka. Our first encounter was in the studio and it is only a professional artiste work-related relationship. I have a boyfriend, who is here in South Africa, and we are planning to get married soon.
D: We have seen some musicians combining their voices on collaborations. Do you intend to do some?
AN: I believe in team work and, as a result, I have already done some collaborations with Mahlupeka, Itai Sandras and Trymore Bande. These collaborations have opened up new ideas and given me insight into how others compose music.
ND: How is your latest album doing?
AN: It is still getting to the people, but from the responses we are getting it is doing well. We have lined up a number of shows to take the album to people across the country.
ND: Can you unpack the latest offering?
AN: My latest album, Vanotigarira Dare, carries eight tracks — Vanotigarira Dare, which is a gospel-sungura song, which talks about problems found in African culture. The song stipulates that there is hope in Jesus for all the problems. Zvinoda Munyengetero is a traditional contemporary track that encourages people to pray, fast, and believe in God when faced by difficult situations in life.
Mufaro Wangu encourages people, especially couples, to love and appreciate each other in their relationships, while at the end, the couple appreciates and acknowledges the power of Jesus in their lives.
In Handina Nyadzi and Kushandira Jesu, I am expressing my passion to spread the gospel through music.
I Surrender is basically about encouraging people to worship God, while Makatendeka and Ndiratidzei Nzira are traditional worship songs.
ND: What challenges have you faced to be where you are today?
AN: The major challenge at the moment is to take my music to the local people to make them be familiar with the face behind the songs, as I am currently based in South Africa.
I am working hard to shoot videos, but funding the production of the videos is costly. At the moment, I have completed shooting two videos, but my desire is to do all the eight videos.
ND: Where do you see yourself in the next three years?
AN: I foresee my music going beyond the borders, as it is my desire to perform on the international stage.
ND: Thank you for your time Makoti.
AN: You’re welcome and thank you as well