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I have no career regrets: Hwarari

Life & Style
She is happy with the response to her latest 12-track album, titled Listen that celebrates Africa’s heritage while also addressing pertinent issues.

MALAWI-BASED Zimbabwean singer Carmen Hwarari posesses a unique melodious voice which has won the hearts of many music fans.

Hwarari has managed to establish a vibrant fan base locally and beyond the borders which she acknowledges as having given her strength to keep on composing and releasing music.

She is happy with the response to her latest 12-track album, titled Listen that celebrates Africa’s heritage while also addressing pertinent issues.

The album launched last December at the REPS Theatre in Harare is Hwarari’s second production, after her debut effort, I Call To You, which was released in 2017.

She describes the album as a multi-faceted production that explores the rich tapestry of African culture and human experiences. It delves into themes of identity, societal norms, women and children’s rights and the transformative power of love.

The album features collaborations with Afro-jazz musician Dereck Mpofu in Arise Africa, the legendary poet Albert Nyathi in MaAfrica, Mokoomba’s Matias Muzaza in Bwela, and a Poem The Good Wife written by Malawi’s best poet, Q Malewezi.

Born and raised in Bulawayo, Hwarari, a holder of BSc Honours degree in Music and Musicology, is satisfied with her chosen career and has no regrets for being a musician.

Even if there was an opportunity to start over again, she would not choose a different path away from music.

“Absolutely no regrets. I love who and what I am; music is life. Life is a journey, there is no better path than your own path,” she told NewsDay Life & Style.

While some musicians have become big-headed as fame sank into their heads, the dreadlocked songbird has remained humble.

She describes herself as a daughter, sister, friend, music teacher, musician and a mother.

“I don’t think I am a celebrity and I feel I live a very normal life. I don’t even consider myself a celebrity at all, not too sure I actually want to be classified as one,” she said.

Hwarari is not a fancy person, she spots dreadlocks not as a fashion statement or a symbol of culture.

“I am not patient and cannot deal with being in a salon for over an hour, so for me dreadlocks are easy, plus I just wake up and go,” she said, adding that she also preferred to use just an ordinary mobile phone.

Hwarari had a horrible experience when she lost her voice during her first pregnancy.

“It was horrible, I wonder if I could equate it to a footballer breaking a leg. I think I was very depressed and actually did not know it. I had no safe haven, no means of expression.

“I lost my confidence and self-esteem. I felt dead from within, no purpose. It is unexplainable, but I just was not myself,” the musician said.

She reckons her embarrassing moment was many years ago when her skirt fell off her while performing at the now defunct Book Café.  Luckily, she was wearing tights, but still for her, this has remained a humiliating moment.

Off the stage, Hwarari likes to exercise and participating in sports.

“I love to spend time with close friends just chilling, chatting and laughing. Anything that has to do with laughter is my thing,” she said.

“My favourite foods include isitshwala samabele lo mbida (sorghum pap)  or umfushwa wendumba (dried black-eyed peas leaves), lenyama, maize boiled or roasted, amazambane, inkobe, ox liver and oxtail. I also like amasi, chocolate, smoothies, fruits and cheese cake. Coffee and chocolate cake are among some of my favourite foods.”

When it comes to relaxing and favourite places to visit, she enjoys watching movies on Netflix. Since she lives and works outside Zimbabwe, she loves to visit back home which is her favourite destination.

While some say they sing in the shower, Hwarari does not sing while taking a bath.

As a word of advice, Hwarari said: “To women and young girls out there love yourself the way you are, be selfish once in a while, embrace your dreams, gifts, talents and your happiness. Joy should come from your first.”

“Stay true to yourself, know who you are and embrace your truth. Be proud of where you come from, be unapologetic for what you stand for and believe in. Live a life full of joy and love, tomorrow is not promised.”

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