Very few people had heard about Nmagugu Ncube until the young lady featured on Baba Harare’s latest single “Handidi Zvekumitisa”, setting off an interest that led many to inquire — “who is this girl?”
Two issues caught many people’s attention — Noma’s beautiful voice on the song and a post made by Baba Harare on Facebook.
A day before the song was released, Baba Harare posted pictures of Noma and himself dressed in African attire with the caption: “Where it started, where we are. Roora settings. Dzakafambirwa nezuro nyaya dzacho”.
To many, this post meant Baba Harare had a new woman in his life — Noma.
When the video to the song was released, it turned out the two were wearing the same clothes displayed by Baba Harare on his Facebook page — not a big deal, just a picture shoot before the video shoot.
This did not quench some people’s appetite of knowing the truth and Baba Harare’s Facebook page was swarmed with various comments and congratulations.
But wait a bit — Noma says she is in a relationship, but not with Baba Harare.
“As of now, I am in a relationship,” said Noma in a wide ranging interview with The Herald Arts. “It’s too soon for me to know if I am taken for good.”
Noma, who works for Nash TV, is not new to the music industry, stage presentation, as well as fashion.
It was at Nash TV where she met Baba Harare and the idea of producing a video that has sent tongues wagging was born.
“I met Baba Harare at work,” said Noma. “We have a show called Colorvibes mix at work, so I needed him to be our guest. I asked him and to my surprise he just said its okay.
“My producer Jamal apparently is the one who told him I could sing. A few days after the show, Baba Harare asked if we could do a song together. At first I wasn’t sure of the idea, you know Baba Harare being the Jiti master, I wasn’t up for vibing to a Jiti song, but I’m grateful to Baba Harare.”
Noma grew up in a Christian family in Bulawayo, where she lost her mother at the tender age of 11.
“Being the only child in my family and losing a mother at 11, I learnt to be responsible at a very young age,” she said. “Above all, I learnt how to trust and depend on God for everything.
“My mother used to make me sing in church when I was five, but at that time it was just singing. It was funny to see people clapping hands for me.”
Noma was to later pursue music at primary school, although she was sceptical about her vocal ability.
“I realised it later on in primary school that my voice was actually different from others. It wasn’t easy though because at that time wainzi ‘urikubvundisirei voice’ when singing.”
After school, Noma followed the great trek to the capital city to pursue her music dream.
She struck gold in her first attempt when she was nominated in the top six of the Zimtalent Hunt show in 2014.
The nomination gave her an opportunity to record a single with producer Russel “Russo” Chiradza.
“It was an honour working with Russo at that time, considering I was just a girl from Bulawayo who only heard of these people on radio,” she said. In 2017, Noma was the overall winner of the Starbrite music talent show and she was head-hunted by several musicians who hired her as a backing vocalist.
“I worked with a group called Ancient Tribes and Lyton and Bethany Pasinawako-Ngolomi. But I worked with Minister Michael Mahendere for a long time, I then left the group sometime last year, but I am grateful to all these people because they groomed me. I am positive that with all that I learnt from them, I am going to be a great artiste even if I won’t be singing gospel songs.”
Noma said concerns from some people in church at some point limited her musical growth.
“You know how it is with church. It’s just like a family, you will get people that do not approve of what you are doing and they think you are a sinner way who doesn’t deserve God’s love. Then there are those that always have your back no matter what you do.”
But Noma said she owes the discovery of her talent to church.
“I discovered and grew my talent in church. I even started presenting on TV in church (on Christ TV). They gave me an opportunity to showcase my talent, a dream that felt too far for me to reach. They made me live it.”
Narrating her break into television, Noma said she was inspired by South African “A list” presenter Bonang Mathemba.
Noma wishes to work with Jah Prayzah, Zahara and Lira in future.