BY CHELSEA MUSAFARE
AFRO-FUSION musician Whitney “Brity” Matiyanga is part of the glittering line-up of artists preforming at The Xiamen Ling Ling International Circus in China.
The international circus — where a lot of international tourists visit the resort area integrating sightseeing, entertainment and cultural education — offers circus performances, animal shows, a parent-child recreational garden and circus-themed hotels.
Matiyanga, among other 15 international outfits, is the only Zimbabwean performing at the global showcase, whose schedule will encompass practical workshops, dancing, singing and playing instruments which include mbira and konga drums.
The musician, who is currently on a two-year contract tour ending in September next year, was selected to perform at the circus after performing at the Bergen Afro Arts Festival in Norway last year.
The Afro-fusion artiste told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that she hopes to see the world embracing Afrocentric music through the use of traditional instruments.
“Through traditional instruments that I play, I look forward to expand my fan base around the world. Since the circus is an international resort, there is a chance that many nations will probably notice my talent and appreciate it,” she said.
Matiyanga, who is renowned for her trademark energetic stage performances, with a knack for blowing away her audiences, indicated that the tour was an opportunity that would broaden her international contacts.
“I am enjoying meeting new artists and people around. My expectations were to push my music from here and its now unfolding into reality because this coming December I am releasing a video from my latest single,” she said.
The 26-year-old drummer, singer, actress and theatre stage play director — who ventured into music in 2010, is set to release her new video titled Fame without money after her debut album with Damson “WeDande” Madzikaminga in 2016.
Matiyanga who is inspired by people’s social life, culture and other fellow musicians, including the late Oliver Mtukudzi and Chiwoniso Mararire said themes on her upcoming video include challenges being faced by artistes.
“Artistes are facing many challenges in the industry and the community. They face lack of funds to produce albums, videos or even tours. Piracy is also forbidding some artistes to enjoy the fruits of their work, despite all the toiling. Most artistes are suffering a lot yet they are famous, some fail to pay their own bills because they get meagre remunerations from gigs, yet they would have incurred huge costs for transportation, hiring of PA systems and band payment. Due to these circumstances, most artistes are now diverting to other sectors in search of survival because they cannot rely on Art alone. At the end of the day one might find out that it is useless to be famous with nothing tangible to show for your labouring and toiling,” Matiyanga said.
She started composing songs at the age of nine, which she performed at school and church choirs.
Her debut album titled Mwana waMambo carries six songs, the album title, Makuwerere, Vabereki, Pamuchato, Ngikhulumele and Wandaireva. From 2016 she has been releasing singles, that include Handinamate, Pasina, Kufadza Gen’a, Yahweh and Fame without money.