UNITED KINGDOM-BASED Zimbabwean Afro-pop artiste Theresa “Shanky” Shangazhike yesterday said she had to fight gender prejudice which was widespread in the music industry as she sought recognition.
BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
Shanky told NewsDay Life & Style that it was still difficult for a lot of female artistes to make an impact because of the patriarchal nature of the music industry.
“The biggest challenge is being taken seriously as a female artiste. It is such a male-dominated industry and being female, there are people who may have other motives than to actually work with you professionally,” she said.
The songbird said the problem was so widespread and women were mainly perceived as sex objects.
“It is sad, but it happens. You are a piece of meat to some. You have to be strong,” she said.
Shanky, however, said she was excited as she was working on a series of new projects including a single dubbed Till You’re Mine, in which she roped in Angolan artiste Levis Albano.
“Yes I have loads of projects I have been working on in the past year. Music videos are being edited as we speak and new tracks are due to be released. The next video I will be dropping is called Till You’re Mine. It’s a Kizomba track for which I filmed the video in Portugal,” she said, adding that the songs would be released on digital platforms.
Shanky said her music had been featured on BBC 1xtra, Sound City in Nigeria and various other channels. She had also shared the stage with artistes including Davido and Diamond Platinum at Africa Unplugged.
Her rendition of the Zimbabwe national anthem, done to commemorate Independence Day, was played on a Sky TV channel in the UK.
Shanky said one of her most recent videos, Watora Moyo, was shot at Avondale flea market although it was recorded in Canada alongside Munya Mataruse.
“It gave me the opportunity to showcase the artistes there and their beautiful work. So I try and promote Zimbabwe the best way I can with each track and video,” she said.
“I am always making music here but with Watora Moyo, for example, I recorded with Munya Mataruse in Canada. I also recorded my upcoming track, Get Down, in Zimbabwe.”
The Suduruka hitmaker, who is also a therapist, runs a massage company called Mobile Massages Limited. She expressed hope to bring the business back to Zimbabwe in due course.
“It’s a service where professional massage therapists travel to clients with their massage table to deliver spa quality treatments for people in the comfort of their own home. I am hoping to bring this to Zimbabwe too in the near future,” she said.
Shanky said she was happy that her music career was financially rewarding.
The songstress said new multimedia technology was a gamechanger in the industry and there was no longer a clear-cut formula for success.
“With the way social media is nowadays, anyone can go viral and international overnight. It’s just about experimenting with different ideas until you hit the jackpot,” she said.
Shanky was raised in a musical family. Her uncle used to play the guitar while her mother was involved in choirs.
“That really made me fall in love with music from a very young age. I would also compete in school choirs at primary school at Chishawasha Mission,” she said.
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