Tafadzwa Zimoyo Arts Reporter
Award-winner Nyaradzo Mashayamombe’s new album “Zvatiri” is a revelation that women should be themselves regardless of their situation.
Affectionately known as Nyari, she said the album talks about Africa, social issues, love, gospel, accountability and governance.
“Zvatiri” is also a movement, and a project to empower women as well as men, to embrace who they are in a world that makes them feel like they are lesser human beings because of who they are.
The 15-track afro-jazz album features songs like “Ndirarame Sei”, “Pisarema”, “Africa”, “Cry” (which features the late Chiwoniso Maraire), “Hakuna”, “Lost”, and “Ndosimudzire”.
According to Nyari, the album is not a one-hit wonder but can be used as an instrument in solving issues.
In an interview, she said she was happy that the album had been receiving airplay both on local and international platforms.
“I am proud of who I am as an African woman. The album is an inspirational, heartfelt account of the girl-women empowerment. I don’t want it to be more of Human Rights issues although somehow that is the theme. So much has been prescribed as beauty for African queens. From the time of birth young women are taught to believe that beauty is in the colour of their skin, which should be lighter.
“If you come from a family that is strong about affirming oneself and telling their girls that they can conquer the world and are beautiful the way they are, they would probably think that they are light-skinned because they are raised to think beauty is being light-skinned,” she explained.
Nyari said the world had not been honest to tell of the beauty of Africa.
“It is still shocking that beautiful dark skin is something many people in other races dream of having as seen by sun-tanning to give their skin a darker hue, which we think is ugly. Africa has beautiful women and that is what they are,” she said.
The dread locked singer once did a duet with Cephas Mashakada and the album has been played on BBC radio.
Nyari believes what African women and men are is God given and should glorify God in their uniqueness.
“The children of the soil should own their heritage including their voices and instruments of worship that include mbira. It is very wrong and ignorant of any person from another race or culture to dictate what is wrong or right in terms of worshipping instruments. I’ve been in spaces where people criticised the mbira instrument and jazz music, complaining that the women are only moving and swaying hips which they think is not Godly’! How can one criticise what God has made? How can one think people should not sway hips from left to right glorifying God when it is God who made them who they are? It is high time African women and men stopped listening to other races for validation, but own up to who God made them to be and be proud,” she said.
“I am proud of who I am as an African woman. The album is an inspirational, heartfelt account of the girl-women empowerment.