Rute, who last released her second album in 2007, entitled Rute Goes Kumanginde has matured like wine and her versatility, creativity and innovation is displayed in the new album.
“I am now back in the studio following a break I took to focus on my studies. I graduated last year and I want to make up for my absence because I know my fans had been starved of my music,” said Mbangwa.
Rute embodies hope for the future of Zimbabwean women artists. In a time of uncertainty in the industry, she has forged ahead strongly, working hard and employing a highly professional outlook which has earned her respect of other players in the industry, and is already paving the way to acclaim.
The double album is diverse and a great listen. With this work, the songstress asserts her own unique and strong musical identity. Most of the songs on the album are composed, arranged and performed by Mbangwa.
“The album has an authentic township feel and it gives one an incredible sense of nostalgia,” she said with a chuckle.
Mbangwa says she believes in purity of the past and is on track to help the younger generation reclaim their African roots.
“Purity of the past means a good and healthy lifestyle we had in the past before we adopted a foreign culture that has tainted our personalities and lifestyles.
“I am not saying there is anything wrong with modernisation and all its traits, but I believe as a people we have reached that stage where we have lost everything that defined us as Zimbabweans and that is not healthy.
“We should embrace modernity, yes, but we don’t have to abandon our culture and everything it represent. We must only embrace what is good for us while at the same time retaining our identity,” she said.
Mbangwa is the current vice-chairperson of Artists and Environment Foundation, which inculcates a culture of responsibility among artists.
“The aim of the foundation is to encourage artists to teach people, through their art, the effect of land degradation and how society can combat soil and land erosion which are threatening our environment and the agriculture sector,” she said.
Mbangwa graduated from Chipawo (Children’s Performing Arts Workshop) in 1998 and joined in the formation of the young group Another Tribe, before moving on to do backing vocals with popular Township Jazz musician Tanga wekwa Sando, with whom she gained much experience during studio work and live performances around the country.
Towards the end of 2003, she worked with the group Africa Revenge as backing vocalist. In 2004 she recorded an eight-track album with Jazz Sensation, entitled If Only My Heart Had a Voice which she composed, arranged and produced.