Afro-jazz musician Diana Samkange says she wants her influence to inspire the young as she looks to diversify from music to other spheres of business.
By Nomuzi Mtunzi
Samkange, who is popularly known as Mangwenya, said she was determined to leave a legacy using her influence as a musician. She said she has been in love with traditional music instruments even during her days with urban grooves group 2BG.
“I had a dream in 2012 that inspired me to start playing the mbira instrument. I later went to school to learn how to play mbira and I also play hosho and ngoma. That was my year of transformation to Zimbabwe traditional music, which is my genre now,” Mangwena told The Standard Style last week.
“I want to use my influence to inspire the kids and let them know that they can be whoever they want to be if they are determined to do so.”
The mother of one said she was touched by the plight of the disadvantaged and sometimes visits children’s homes and hospitals.
“During my spare time, I sometimes visit children’s homes and hospitals to render free service. I hang out talking to some of the kids and I am touched with what comes out of these interactions,” she said.
The former 2BG singer said she would soon establish a Mangwenya mentorship programme, designed to identify and nurture upcoming artists.
Apart from music, Mangwenya is also a farmer.
“Our children should know that it is important to use their hands. I spend the better part of my time at the farm and it is something that I enjoy doing when I am not singing,” she said.
Mangwenya said she can’t be separated from traditional music; a genre which she said relates to most Zimbabweans and appeals to the global gamut.
“My traditional music is in spiritual mode as it blends well with the mbira that I play in the sense that it heals the next person or the person listening. My songs are not just songs, but they are therapies in their own nature as they are not sang but come deep within my heart and soul,” she said.
Mangwenya released her debut album titled My First Diary in 2008, which was followed by Kumagumo eRudo in 2010.
Kumagumo eRudo transcended across age and social barriers because of its lyrics which were pregnant with social commentary and romantic propositions. In 2013 she released her third album titled Kumazivandadzoka followed by an eight-track album titled Mationesa in July 2015. Last year she released her fifth album titled Kwayedza, which is doing well on local and international radio stations.
Mangwenya ventured into music in 2004 as an urban grooves artist and was part of a group called 2BG. The group split as members Shane Dingz and Blush relocated to the United Kingdom and South Africa respectively.