KORA award beckons for Hope

HARARE - Music sensation Hope Masike believes being nominated for the 2016 KORA All-Africa Awards is a major career achievement in her artistic career that commenced in 2009.

KORA is regarded as the biggest musical event in Africa and is broadcast live to more than 700 million viewers in 82 countries worldwide.

While the late Tendai Mupfurutsa, also known as Prince Tendai was the first Zimbabwean musician to be nominated at the prestigious KORA music awards in 1997, superstar Oliver Mtukudzi actually won the KORA award for Best Arrangement in 2002, for the song Ndakuwara. In 2003, he received the highest distinction in African music as top male artist in Africa and a  lifetime achievement award.

Hope says apart from the KORA nomination, she has two other major achievements so far in her musical career. These include the honour of performing with the revered African star Salif Keita at Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) in 2015 and winning the 2013 Outstanding Female Musician Award at the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA).

The diva however believes being nominated for 2016 KORA’s Best Traditional Female Artist in Africa Award for her song Huyai Tinamate is a fascinating turn of events.

“It was a great way to begin the year 2016 as my song and the video were nominated in a category with a lot of wonderful women musicians from Africa.

“It is a huge honour and the great news is that Zimbabweans can make it happen for me if they vote for me via SMS using my code KORA78 then SMS +248984000.

“I am already looking forward to being at the event and hopefully I will be the first woman musician in Zimbabwe to bring a KORA.”

Also known as a Mbira princess of Zimbabwe, Hope composed Huyai Tinamate in 2011 while on tour in Norway and finished it the year after. She  then did a video last year.

Huyai Tinamate is about grace and mercy while talking to everyone about the wrong and bad things happening in the world which needs prayer warriors.

“My life is heavily inspired by my spirituality as I believe before things manifest on earth, something should have happened in the spiritual helm. I am a believer of Christian and traditional values.”

She recorded the song at Monolio studio and co-produced it with guitarist Mono Mukundu. Charles Maungwa produced the video for the song.

Hope says she always knew she can sing.

“I was born in a family of nine and all of us can sing, my mother was in the church choir and every evening we could gather and sing at home. Actually I did not have the best voice although I am the only one in the family who pursed music as a career.

“I always knew I had an artistic calling although I took to do it professionally in 2008. It is not only about music as I can paint and draw. Actually I have some special drawings for this coming Valentine. While there is this tendency to compartmentalise art, I believe it is one thing. If you have an artistic sense, it can be applied either on a drawing, painting or even on a song. It is all about the natural talent although we then go to school to sharpen it.”

The diva has no free time to talk about but that her works. She said music, painting and drawing are actually an outlet for relaxation.

“I also enjoy going out to art exhibitions, showcases of other music acts and live music concerts, on particular when Victor Kunonga is performing. I love his traditional rhythms because that is the musical base I also use.”

Hope grew up in the high density suburb of Highfield in Harare where she attended Mbizi Primary School, then Daniko College in Masasa for her secondary education and Mabelreign High School for her Advanced Level. She then enrolled at the Harare Polytechnic studying Fine Arts, and later joined the Zimbabwe College of Music where she studied music.

Hope released her debut self-titled 11 track album (Hope) in 2009.

“It was actually on May 8, I remember that very well. We recorded the album at Monolio Studio and everyone took part in the production. It was followed in 2012 with Mbira Love and Chocolate and my third album is coming at the end of the year.

“And I will be releasing a special Valentine single soon which I am collaborating with some local poets as it is an African love song, hence the deep poetic elements.”

She has collaborated with different bands such as Zimbabwean hip-hop band, The Monkey Nuts, German band FAVO. Of note is the collaboration with the Norwegian World Music outfit, Monoswezi on the album The Village, which has received numerous reviews and was nominated for some international awards, including at the Songlines World Music Awards.

She has also done collaborations with artists from Mozambique, South Africa, Norway, Finland, Austria and France.

Locally Hope has shared the stage with Mbuya Stella Chiweshe, the late Chiwoniso Maraire and Oliver Mtukudzi.

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