CELEBRITY life comes with a glamorous public image, but away from the glitz, cheering crowds and fame lies another life.
The life of celebrities, just like an individual on stage or set, also encompasses various activities. Some celebrities strive to live lives that are separate from the fame that surrounds them.
Among those is Afro-jazz singer Selmor Mtukudzi, the daughter of the late music legend and hero, Oliver Mtukudzi. She is married to Tendai Manatsa, son of the late music legend, Zexie Manatsa. NewsDay Weekender caught up with Selmor, who shared the other side of her life away from the studio and stage.
Growing up as a child, I looked up to my sister Sandra so much. I thought my sister was so cool and I wanted to be like her, sing like her, dance like her and dress like her. I would even steal some of her clothes to wear.
A normal day
- War in Zanu PF as fight hots up
- War in Zanu PF as fight hots up
- When food festival celebrates heritage, promotes tourism
- Touts terrorise commuters
For me, a regular day will see me doing gardening, cooking or even watching television.
Meeting husband, marriage life and motherhood
I met my husband Tendai while we were both working for Tanga wekwa Sando (born Ernest Tanga Kambadzo Sando), a popular Zimbabwean township jazz artiste. Tendai was a guitarist and I was a backing vocalist.
We became instant friends and dated. Our relationship has been so easy because we were friends first. Tendai and I get along very well and we love each other’s company.
I don’t like flowers, I like chocolates, so he always gets me my favourite even for no reason. Tendai plans all our outings and dates.
We are intentional about our marriage. We want to be together, so we make efforts to make each other happy. Nothing in life is easy, you must put in work if you want to enjoy anything in life and that goes for marriage too.
Couples need to understand that marriage is about listening to each other and being willing to compromise for one another, be conscious about their partner’s needs and try to be considerate with their feelings.
When I gave birth to my first-born son, Ben, I was overjoyed. It was unbelievable that I had become a mother. I felt so much love for the little person that I didn’t know existed. I have three kids, (Ben, Hannah and Troy), thus two boys and a girl.
The journey of motherhood has been both wonderful and hectic. There are days I want my kids to leave me alone and let me rest, then miss them so much when they go for holiday or even a weekend at my mother’s place or their cousins’. I love them dearly.
Life of fame
Growing up with a famous parent was not much of a big deal to me. Fame exposes you to an intense invasion of privacy because every single step you take is monitored by paparazzi, the media and the public eye.
There are times I wish people did not know me so I can just do whatever I want without people looking at me. Such luxury people take for granted.
Something about me that many might not know is that I enjoy eating dhaka (clay sold) by vendors along the streets or by musika (the market).
There are things that seem like compliments, but hurt me to the core. People continually say to me, “Oh you are so tall!” I don’t know what people want me to do about that, I know that I am tall ... so? Some will say “You are an amazing musician so do you think you will do better than your father (Oliver Mtukudzi)?”
Low life experiences
My lowest low and saddest experience was when my brother Sam died in a car accident. He was so young, he did not fall sick and his death came as a terrible shock. I was eight months pregnant with my second born son by that time. It was the worst pain ever.
Taste in fashion
I have very simple taste in fashion, so mostly I wear jeans and crop tops although I try to wear dresses occasionally, but it’s very rare for me.
I find it hard to fake anything, I am more of what you see is what you get kind of a person, that is just who I am and it’s not difficult at all for me.
When it comes to skin care, I am very fortunate that I am blessed with good skin already. Now that I am getting older, I should probably start doing something.
I went to Sandringham High School (a Zimbabwean Methodist Church school located 25km from the town of Norton and 65km from Harare) and they did not allow long hair or braiding, so as students, we were all excited to finish school and finally put chemicals in our hair.
So, during my Ordinary Level (Form 4) holiday, I relaxed my hair. I did not like the outcome, I hated it. I tried weaves and many other hairstyles, you name it, but I just did not feel like myself.
From there, I would only braid and then I decided to put locks which I kept for over six years. The Afro then came after I decided to cut my locks.
I had gone through a traumatic life experience and I wanted to let go of something and so I told myself that if I can cut my locks then I can forgive and move on and that is what I did. It was in 2012 and it became my identity.
If you could go back into time
If I could go back in time, I would give myself some advice to speak up when going through something bad and not hold stuff inside.
Piling up things will make you burst and sometimes in the wrong way. It’s important to put yourself first sometimes. It is best to remove yourself from toxic people who make you lose sleep over silly things.
Forgiving someone is for your own good, let go of things and be the happiest. Pray and work hard. Choose a lane and stick with it. Do not care too much what people think or say about you. Never settle.
Every weekend, we either go to a movie house or just find a good movie to watch at home with my husband and kids. Whenever I have time, it’s either you find me in the kitchen cooking or baking because I am very passionate about it.
No place like home
I have travelled to several countries, but I always find that I love it here back home more than anywhere else.
I loved Australia because of the beautiful weather, but then I hate that they have a lot of snakes and dangerous spiders. I would rather stay in Zimbabwe. There is no place like home.