US-based Zim actress to grace ZAA

LONDON - TV viewers across the world will remember her for her recurring role alongside Hollywood A-lister Charlie Sheen on the popular American sitcom Two And a Half Men.

But Tinashe Kachingwe is arguably the next big thing waiting to explode on the US and global music scene.

Her debut album is not released yet — but her 248 000 followers on Twitter and over nine million views for her music videos on YouTube point to a ready-made market for the 20-year-old.

On April 20, Kachingwe will be the main draw at this year’s Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) ceremony at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in London.

A native of Kentucky, Kachingwe is of Zimbabwean and Irish ancestry and moved to Los Angeles on the west coast when she was eight.

Despite being born and raised in the US, she speaks Shona fluently. Young brothers Thulani and Kudzai also proudly answer to their African names.

Kachingwe first grabbed the attention of US music fans as lead singer of the five-member girl group The Stunners.

The girls toured with Justin Bieber on his “My World” tour and also performed live on The Today Show and The Wendy Williams show.

They were in line to release their debut album with Universal Republic Records before the project was shelved after the group disbanded in 2011.

But while the curtains were being drawn on The Stunners era, Kachingwe’s solo career was just taking off.

With her eclectic musical style that she describes as a mixture of “urban, rhythmic and pop”, peppered with influences from indie, alternative, and hip hop, Kachingwe released two critically-acclaimed mixtapes in 2012.

Her debut, titled In Case We Die, dropped in February last year and spawned four singles, including the track This Feeling.

In July of 2012, Kachingwe signed her first solo major label recording contract with RCA/Sony Music.
Then on September 6, she released her second critically acclaimed mixtape, Reverie.

The Mixtape released three singles: “Stargazing”, “Ecstasy” and the final single from the mixtape, “Who Am I Working For?”

Oozing sex appeal and yet exuding class and elegance, the dancer, singer and songwriter is currently putting the final touches to her debut solo album, set to be released any time this year.

On April 20, Kachingwe will lead a stellar cast of performers at this year’s edition of the ZAA, honouring outstanding achievements by Zimbabwean expatriates from all walks of life.

A self-confessed shoe fanatic and lover of scary movies, the dainty singer is full of surprising personal quirks.

For instance, she became a Taekwondo black belt at the tender age of 11 and has actually won a gold medal in competition in her home State of California!

“My parents decided to sign me up for Taekwondo when I was younger.

After a year or so, I wasn’t that into it anymore, but they were always the kind of people who encouraged me to stick with things, so they made me continue until I got a black belt,” she said in a recent interview.

“I’ve never been in a real physical confrontation, which I guess is a good thing. But I don’t know, I’m saving up my skills for when someone really pisses me off!” —

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