Chitapa: Zimbabwe’s own blessing

Rising gospel musician Blessing
Chitapa (pictured) is ecstatic and grateful for not only winning The Voice UK 2020 competition, but raising the Zimbabwean flag high in the process.

By Kennedy Nyavaya

Born in the Zimbabwe 18 years ago before moving to the United Kingdom with her family as a toddler, Chitapa was announced winner of ITV’s prestigious talent show on November 14.

Speaking to BBC’s Focus on Africa show, the teen sensation said she was amazed by the win as she had almost convinced herself it was impossible for her.

“I was so shocked and surprised because in my mind I had no idea what the public was thinking of me, I knew it was the virtual audience voting, but I did not think I was going to win. In fact, I was almost sure that I wasn’t so to have my name announced I did not know what to do,” said Chitapa.

At the finale, Chitapa sang Robbie Williams’ Angels — the title of her debut single — and James Bay’s Hold Back The River, which she performed as a duet with mentor Olly Murs.

Turning to the massive reaction by Zimbabweans, who wasted no time in congratulating as well as celebrating the success of one of theirs, Chitapa said:

“I feel amazing, honestly I did not expect the response and I am so grateful that as a Zimbabwean I can stand for my nation and I think it’s such a big achievement because this (UK) was a foreign land for me,” she said.

“We didn’t know what was going to be of it and to see the results years later that God has even given me and my family this opportunity to kind of represent Zimbabwe, it is the greatest feeling and I cannot believe that all these people that you are mentioning right now even know my name or who I am.”

Currently based in Dudley in the West Midlands (UK), the young musician, who impressively juggled school work and the music competition, excelling in both, said winning the competition was a great leap towards pursuing her passion for the microphone.

“Winning this show has given me the opportunity to just pursue my musical career and on top of that I feel it’s great for me to know that I have inspired a lot of other younger people,” she said, adding that she would be continuing the gospel route.

“It (gospel music) is definitely how I started and how I will still keep going, gospel music is me and a part of me and God is a huge aspect of my music and He is the one who granted me this gift.”

Meanwhile, this is not the first time a British-Zimbabwean songster has dazzled The Voice UK in the recent past. In 2018, the now-established pop star Donel Mangena rocked the finals of the show and only narrowly fell short of winning it.

Afterwards, he got lots of opportunities, including a recording contract by Black Eyed Peas’ Will I Am and has since released singles including Bang Like a Drum and Wish You Well.

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