BY SHARON SIBINDI
BULAWAYO-based reggae songstress Mandie Mae was bubbling with confidence in her creativity as a reggae artiste.
Locally, reggae music is predominantly male-dominated, but Mandie Mae has defied the odds to make it in the genre.
Born Nomagugu Amanda Nkomo 21 years ago in Chipinge and grew up in Hillside, Bulawayo, the talented singer, songwriter and actress looks and sounds like the real-reggae-deal onto the local scene.
With the power of her distinctive voice, the dreadlocked entertainer has captured the reggae beat which many female artistes battle to produce.
“It feels like I am the boss and I am queening the kings’ genre, which gives me confidence because competing with men gives you that ‘I am serious’ feeling,” she said.
While the reggae genre is not popular in the city of Kings, Mandie Mae also known as Bad Gyal said she wanted to leave a legacy in the music industry.
“I want my music to be able to speak to those living in situations they think are impossible to get out of. People who have listened to my music are always shocked and tell me that I am unique,” she said.
“For instruments and production I mostly work with Collin, but have also worked with the likes of Murphy Cubic, Larynx and Tha Dawg. I am looking forward to having collaborations with one or two international Afro dancehall artistes.”
The What Did I Say singer said she had always been a fan of uniqueness, adding that through her research about the African music industry, she discovered that there was no one doing reggae, or adding a bit of Ndebele to the genre.
“I also grew up around reggae as my family listened to reggae music almost all the time and that is how I learnt patois. Besides, I have always been a fan of Jamaica since I was a kid and this made me have interest in learning their language and love dreadlocks,” she said.
“I am inspired by the late Lucky Dube mostly because he chose to be the only reggae artiste in South Africa or even Africa at his time and he had very powerful performance skills.”
The way Mandie Mae takes charge and delights audiences has earned her comparisons with youthful Jamaican sensation Koffee.
Her electrifying performance at the recently held RoilBulawayo Arts Awards 2020 has also won her hundreds of fans.
With about three years in the industry, her YouTube channel is brimming with flattering comments as fans and pundits showering her with superlatives as they describe her refreshing music.
Follow Sharon on Twitter @SibindiSharon