Sylent Nqo: A bittersweet journey

THE beginning could have been inauspicious; just a little boy trying to find his way around the guitar and marimba (xylophone) piece his parents had bought him.

BY ANESU MUSHAWATU

But today he dominates both local and international stages as he demonstrates his magic on the instruments, including being renowned as a guitar sangoma.

Born Silent Nhendere, Sylent Nqo is now reputed as one of the fastest growing artistes in the country.

The youthful guitarist, who is set to share the stage with South African icon PJ Powers at an Albinism Awareness dinner at a Harare hotel tomorrow, said the opportunity will open more doors for him.

“I really think it is an amazing initiative because of the awareness that is being raised and it is a huge opportunity for me. Hopefully, it will open new doors,” he said.

Sylent Nqo said his life experiences were his primary sources of inspiration, and he used his guitar to express his deepest emotions.

The 24-year-old musician-cum-guitarist has shared the stage with several internationally-acclaimed artistes such as Davido, Mr. Eazi, Dotman, Mokoomba and the late Chiwoniso Maraire.

Sylent Nqo, whose tracks including Mubvunzo and Ndomuridzira Gitare are trending on local radio, has also opened concerts for the late South African legend, Hugh Masekela.

The guitarist has received awards from the Allied Arts Competitions, including a Senior Solo Instrumental Grand Champion of the World, scooping three gold medals, a Gold Plaque and three silver medals at the 20th edition of the World Championships of Performing Arts in Hollywood, United States.

He is, however, disappointed that the government was still to recognise his efforts.


“That is the first time a Zimbabwean, actually an African, has done that and I didn’t even get any recognition from my people. But when Kirsty Coventry and Big Brother contestants come back (from international engagements), they are recognised so I feel like the government let me down there,” he said.

The musician was recently part of the line-up at The Solo Festival held at Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, where he delivered a powerful act, much to his fans’ delight.

Sylent Nqo said although local music is not promoted well, artistes need to package themselves well and be consistent.

“We are investing time in the studio (but) I don’t think most of us have packaged ourselves enough to compete at the global scale,” he said.

He listed Oliver Mtukudzi, Victor Kunonga and Mokoomba as some of his favourite local acts.

The former rugby player and judoka also said music was his greatest passion and his dream was to set up a music school and recording label. He is currently working on a new album and also has some international tours lined up.

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