Meet Zim's country music queen

HARARE - Country music is clearly not the most music genre in Zimbabwe but that has not deterred Mande Snyman from building a career on it.

The passionate artiste believes country music is gaining traction on the Zimbabwean music scene and because of that she is always being invited to perform at restaurants, pubs, private and corporate functions, stage musicals, outdoor concerts and fund raisers.

Exposed early on to the musical influences of Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, Snyman has not looked back since bursting onto the music scene in 1975.

Then she was just 10-years-old but good enough to sing a cover of Marie Osmond’s ‘Paper Roses’

“My stage debut took place in 1975, on South Beach in Durban when I took part in a talent competition. I was 10 years old. I sang a cover of Marie Osmond’s ‘Paper Roses’ and had a brief experience with a band when I left school, much to my strict father’s dismay,” she remembers.

The lack of meaningful monetary rewards has not held her back.

“I have realised that I can touch people with my voice, my audience, however, large or small makes it all worth it. If I can make them, smile, or make them cry, or tap their feet – my purpose is fulfilled. The best compliment I have had is that I have a voice that is mature and soulful,” she told the Daily News on Sunday.

Gifted with a mellifluous voice, Snyman is out to tell the story of country music. She says contrary to public opinion country music has a fairly big following in Zimbabwe.

“I am ‘made in Zimbabwe’… and very proud of the fact. I have found that a lot of Zimbabweans appreciate country music. I have not experienced many challenges being a female in the industry.

“Perhaps our community on the whole is not exposed to enough of what I have to offer. I have been well-received by people from all walks of life in Zimbabwe,” she said.

Snyman is hopeful that she will get more opportunities to promote country music.

“As a country we have a wealth of talent who cover all the genres – it would be good to promote more country music. I am singing wherever and as often as I can to gain the experience to share my music with all Zimbabweans.

“I believe more artists should endeavour to work together to bring us closer to the common purpose of promoting Zimbabwe through music. There is a need for artists, together, to develop a true sense of the love of our country and share our common message of love, life, hope and understanding.

Three years ago she released an album dedicated to Patsy Cline fittingly titled “A Little Bit Patsy Cline.”

“This album was the culmination of a dream to record my favourite artist of all time. The album was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Patsy Cline’s untimely death in a plane crash.

“Patsy Cline is considered the first ‘lady’ of country music and a female country music pioneer. Cline helped pave the way for women as headline performers in country music. She is best known for her rich tone, emotionally expressive and bold contralto voice. The album was produced, mixed and recorded by Ross Brownlee-Walker,” she said.

Snyman was also help by top local producer Tremier Msipa on the album.

“I was honoured to have guidance and inspiration from Tremier. Backing vocals were provided by Tremier and the talented Susan Mkhando. I learned so much from these professionals,” she said.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.