'Accountancy shaped my music career'

Gospel music sensation Janet Manyowa, pictured, believes her accounting background has played a pivotal role in shaping her flourishing music career. Manyowa’s debut album King of Glory earned her at least 10 gongs from more than 25 nominations.

Her second album Grateful, released last year, appears poised to land her up to three gongs at the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) set for March 23 at a local hotel. The multiple-award winner attributes her awards to the diligence and ethos that has been inculcated in her thanks to the accounting profession.

An auditor by profession, she says to be a successful accountant, one must be diligent, strict and thorough. “As a result, I put all in my projects and I believe this has helped to shape and sustain my music career in a big way,” she told the Daily News on Sunday.

This year, Manyowa, with three nominations, has the highest number of Nama nominations. She was nominated for Outstanding Music Video, Outstanding Female Musician and Outstanding Music Album categories. Her music video Tinomutenda Neyi was nominated together with Jah Prayzah’s Dzamutsana and Tekere by Thamsanqa Moyo aka Tamy. 

Under Outstanding Female Musician category she is competing with Tamy and Sandra Ndebele. Her album Grateful is in the same category with Ntunjambila by Majahawodwa Ndlovu aka Jeys Marabini, Tseu Tseu by Enock Munhenga aka Ex Q and Dzinosvitsa Kure by sungura kingpin Alick Macheso.  

Despite all the nominations and gongs in her trophy cabinet, Janet said she will not blow her own trumpet.  “The feedback I am getting from fans is positive and encouraging. I will not say my music is the best but I do my best. I don’t think our group (Janet Manyowa Music) is the best but we always do our best,” she said.

Reflecting on the awards that she received since she started her career, she singles out the Outstanding Female Musician (Nama) and Best Female Musician (Zima) as her major pickings. “The Nama and Zima gongs cut across all sections; they were not limited to gospel music alone as compared to other gospel music awards.

The two awards measured (my performance) outside the gospel music (which makes them special),” the mother of three said.
Born Janet Rejoice Rudo Manyeza, Manyowa grew up in small towns of Chegutu and Banket where she discovered her inclination to making music and was sent for music lessons at the age of 10. 
She is married to Munyaradzi Manyowa.

She wrote her first song Mubatsiri at the age of 13, and has been singing in church (Celebration Church) and at school at that tender age.  She broke onto the Zimbabwean entertainment scene in January 2014 with her debut track Amazing God featuring United States-based musician Comfort Manyame and followed that up with Ndomira Pamuri another gospel track that received considerable gospel airplay.

She has released an 11 track album, King of Glory, and various tracks on it have gone on to receive considerable airplay on local radio stations. Last year, she collaborated with Canada-based gospel diva Shingisai Suluma aka Mai Suluma on the song Muchengeti off her second and latest studio album Grateful.

“I grew up listening to Mai Suluma’s music; it was an honour to collaborate with her. Actually she was the one who approached me with the idea of collaboration,” she said. Manyowa has very little time to stage concerts because of her busy schedule at work.

“I spend much of my time working. However, I try to balance it fairly. At the moment, I cannot stage a number of concerts but I can only manage two per year. Last year, I did Tomutenda Nei and Grateful concerts in Harare. I am planning another two for this year,” she said.

“Time is really a challenge for me; as a result, I am not so active on social media platforms. “It is as good as I am not there.”

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