From ZBC voice overs to international gospel star

LONDON - I love being a Zimbo. I often encounter my countrymen who lie that they are South African.

This is particularly popular in the diaspora where certain ''idiotic' individuals are so consumed with foreign culture they deny who they are perhaps in an attempt to avoid the question that usually comes up: How is Mugabe? The assumption that I may have his personal number and regularly touch base with him. Hilarious!

The woman I write about today would not want to be recognised more than just being Zimbabwean. Born in Canada to Zimbabwean parents, Elizabeth Shingai Chada (37) is a woman after my own heart. In my bid to elevate women, a few months ago I wrote an article on 'being your sisters keeper'. Makosi Musambasi's recent Conference under the same theme made me reaffirm my determination to elevate the sisters around me.

Back in the 90s, Elizabeth did voice overs for many adverts at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).From the age of 8, she knew that music was a part of her bloodline, declaring to her father that she wanted to be a singer. Over the last 25 years, Elizabeth has built a vast repertoire of experiences and performed in many places, using every opportunity to learn.

At long last Elizabeth's debut single “Alive” has come to fruition and I feel blessed to have heard her sing the song soon after writing it. The beauty of the lyrics as well as the tenderness and power of her voice, still linger in my spirit. Knowing what this woman has gone through over the last couple of years makes the song a very personal testament of her strength. I am very excited at the ministry this song represents and I know it will help many regain hope and faith where they have felt lost. There is that saying ''Your own people will not celebrate you until strangers do.'' It is very true, but in this case, I wanted to make sure that Zimbabwe was at par with the noise the Canadian Music Industry is already making about our own. Whilst catching up with the beautiful Elizabeth, this was what she had to say:

Pam Samasuwo Nyawiri (PSN): What does making music mean to you?

Elizabeth Shingai Chada (ESC): Music is a special and unique way to communicate with people. It is a universal language that crosses cultural, language and gender lines and provides inspiration.

PSN: Is your family musical?

ESC: My parents used to tell my brother and I that we needed to give them credit for our vocal abilities because they both sang in choirs. My brother recently launched his solo singing career and while my parents never pursued music, they were always very supportive.

PSN: Which musicians do you admire?

ESC: The list is so long as I have an appreciation for many different kinds of music. The musicians I admire have created music that is the soundtrack of my life. Their songs have had a huge impact on my personal journey but also they have greatly impacted the world with their gift.

PSN: Which five musicians present or late would you most like to dine with?

ESC: Oh! That’s such a great question. I would dine with David Foster, Stevie Wonder, Oliver Mutukudzi, Celine Dion and Michael Jackson. It wouldn't be just dinner though; a song-writing and singing session would follow.

PSN: What are your fondest musical memories?

ESC: My fondest memories were of my parents dancing together. I had great times with CHIPAWO and I also used to sing in Harpers Nightclub and at the Monomotapa Hotel. I would not be the singer I am without those experiences.

PSN: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

ESC: I used to be very hard on myself when I made a mistake during a performance, but now, I embrace my 'humanness' and show myself some grace. Usually the audience is not even aware of the mistake.

PSN: How do you balance your music with other obligations?

ESC:I am a singer/songwriter and producer, but I am also a single mom of three ASTOUNDING kids. When I chose to start rebuilding my career, I sat down with my children and talked to them about what I would be doing. I make sure that they know that while my career is a part of me, being their mother comes first.

PSN: Who inspires you?

ESC: I am inspired by my parents. I don’t think I realised how much of a treasure I had in them until I was in my 20s. Their relationship with each other and their contribution to our community was heart-warming. They taught me to love and live life to the fullest and most importantly they taught me that life without God is empty.

PSN: What is your take on the African gospel scene?

ESC: Living away from home, I don’t get to experience the music scene first hand, but I do make it a point to check out the music that is coming out of Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole. In some ways I am so proud and excited, but I also get concerned that we are following trends and not creating them. We need to be pioneers of our own sound and expression.

PSN: What would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

ESC: This question is the focus of my life and my heart. Pleasing God is what I was created for. ''Well Done and welcome home''.

For more information on Elizabeth's music and launch dates, check out her website @ www.elizabethchada.com and on Facebook... look up Elizabeth Chada.

*Pamela is a Zimbabwean fashion journalist and fashion accessory designer based in the United Kingdom. She can be contacted on pamsamasuwo@live.co.uk

Comments (2)

nxa! rubbish chaiyo! Uri kumbowawata nezveiko ipapa?

penny - 5 November 2014

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Flixcom Solutions - 6 November 2014

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