On June 2 1987, the late tycoon Rodger Boka was blessed with a little girl with his wife Thandiwe and they named her Samantha.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
She grew up with the family in Zimbabwe until 2002 when she moved to Ireland after the death of her father.
Despite a comfortable life she led abroad, Samantha always missed home and a conflict between her identity back home and the new way of life she lived in a foreign land troubled her.
“It is a personal struggle between identity and acceptance. I now sport weave and hair extensions simply because of an appearance I need in order to be noticed in the music industry, but I feel like I have sold my soul,” said the songstress whose stage name is Kyriah Dee.
“I have nothing against people who use weaves but it is all fake and I feel like I am saying, “God, you did not do enough with my hair.”
The Public Relations consultant, events manager and wedding planner all rolled into one, started singing in a church choir where one of the leaders spotted her and encouraged her to take music seriously.
Being a person who easily gets bored, it worked well and better that she had a passion of changing the way the world does things.
“My breakthrough was when I won the Christian Artist Music Festival talent search programme in 2008 and met Jussa Demento who groomed me and taught me what music is all about. I learnt online and street marketing with the track Amazing Grace,” she said.
“The brand started with my first single video Turn Around, which earned me numerous prestigious award nominations in 2011 when the video was just three months old.”
She was nominated for nine awards at the Zim Achievers Awards, Ireland-African Music Awards and Ireland Gospel Music Awards, all of which she failed to pocket because they were all vote-based.
“In some cases I failed to win because I was up against Nigerians who constitute the largest number of Africans in Ireland or I was against names like Cynthia Mare who are well-known,” said Kyriah Dee.
“I also suffered from the fact that gospel music in Ireland is hard core Catholic and secular is extreme secular.”
She said the proceeds of the video Turn Around were donated to assist orphans back home Zimbabwe.
After that she said she slowed down because of a pregnancy and only started again recently when she met Irish producer Chucky Chrysl.
“Chucky is a perfectionist and is great with classical music. We have worked together on my forthcoming EP [extended play] titled Find Yourself to be released in Ireland,” she said.
“They say he has never finished any project but I am glad we managed to do this and I love it.”
The EP consists of tracks like Find yourself, Handei Kumafaro, I walk the Road, Memories, The Gentleman and We All Fall Down.
She said she expects to come to settle in Zimbabwe with her Irish husband Dermot and two children in about a year.
“I am here to learn a lot of things, among them the business considering that the auction floors are working. I have to appreciate what my siblings have done so far, so that when I come I will know where to start from.”
Kyriah Dee is also a sister to jazz sensation Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana. Their mother bore Prudence before she married Boka.