Pah Chihera: A bundle of energy

HARARE - Songstress Pah Chihera — real name Pamhidzai Tracy Mbirimi — is a bundle of energy who sings, dances, acts and this she does with perfection.

Born March 6, 1991 and bred in the dusty streets of Mufakose in Harare, she never imagined that one day her music would be heard and played on national radio.

As her fame grew in her musical journey, she earned the moniker Pah Chihera.

Pah comes from her first name Pamhidzai and Chihera from her Mhofu (Eland) totem.

Singing in Church as a young girl, it was unimaginable at the time that her voice would take her across the globe, including to the United Kingdom and Dubai to entertain many.

Starting only a musician, she realised that she could also dance, model and act! 

“All the things start as a joke and at a later stage you realise that you possess something big. Singing as a young girl, I never knew that one day people would be paying to see me perform or that I would be flying out of Zimbabwe to sing for other nationals,” she said.

Though she prefers keeping a tight lid on her love life, her music revolves around matters of the heart.

In her debut chart-shattering project ‘Runonzi Rudo’ which she produced in collaboration with her uncle Prince Kuda Musarurwa, love dominated her music so much that some, who didn’t know how they were related, started speculating a romance between the two because of the chemistry exhibited in the video.

‘Runonzi Rudo’ has been her biggest project and it has really opened doors for her.

She has had several tours and earned a nomination at the Kora Awards.

“Love is life, culture and you cannot separate that from us people. We all want to be loved and give love to that special someone. I did the project with Sekuru Kuda. 
Basing from the video, some thought he was my boyfriend,” she said. 

Her career took a turn after this project when her follow-up ‘Mbavha Yerudo’ could not match the success of her previous offering.

Critics went on to write her off as a one hit wonder but she soldiered on and now she is back with ‘Haitongwi Nedemo’ which has since been embraced by her legion of fans.

“Music is a journey and it has its highs and lows and I believe I have experienced both. ‘Runonzi Rudo’ was a great project and it took me places which I cherish. My journey so far has been good,” she said.

In a bid to have consistency in her career, Pah Chihera is now a signed artiste under the Zvishavane-based Verenga Empire Studio where her latest project was produced.
At some point, she took a break. This was when she got blessed with a baby.

This sparked mixed feelings, with critics saying she was failing to strike a balance between motherhood and being a career woman.

She however, argues that her absence from the entertainment scene was largely due to mother’s love and nurturing her daughter.

“There is nothing as ‘kupera’ (spent force), it was just a break. As much as I love my music, my daughter took centre stage and I took time nurturing her. There is no way that the two can compete. I don’t regret the break I took, it was necessary as it allowed me time to bond with my child. Motherhood is a great experience and has its own challenges which I learnt and overcame. Having a child has been the best experience and I have no regrets. I also took the time to reflect on my journey and brought in new strategies,” she said.

She said this is also the period she attended the Zimbabwe College of Music where she learnt a lot about her music career development. 

“It is only a myth that when you go there that’s the end. That is a place of knowledge for one’s career development,” said Pah Chihera.

The singer has also featured in the drama series ‘Gehena Harina Moto’ where she horned her acting skills.

She said opportunities for women were still few and far in-between and she is pinning her hopes on the new arts minister Kirsty Coventry.

“The industry is still male-dominated and women are not getting enough recognition. You will find that at most big gigs in the country women are not included. I hope the new minister will help us in our fight,” she said.

Some critics argue that female artistes are not doing enough to uplift themselves resulting in them being overlooked.

“There are a lot of talented women in the country and all that is needed is recognition and support. No one will go far without support. Even the greatest of artistes have been helped along the way and that should also be extended to women,” she said.

“Us, as women, on the hand, should learn to be professional and be seen to be doing something not rely on hand-outs. We should do something to justify the support we are calling for,” she said.

Pah Chihera says her wish is to collaborate with South Africa’s Lady Zammar and she has the faith.

“Lady Zammar will be dream come true and I hope one day it will come to pass,” she said. 

So far she has worked with Tocky Vibes, Kinna and Terry Africa.


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