Nyore Madzianike Senior Arts Reporter
AFTER completing her Advanced Level education and attaining good results, she applied for a place to train as a schoolteacher at one of the tertiary institutions in Manicaland province.
Her application was accepted and she was asked to undergo an interview before being offered a place at Marymount Teachers’ College in Mutare.
Although she had all what it took to travel to Mutare for the interview, Fungisai Mashavave-Zvakavapano had other things on her mind.
She decided to forego the opportunity to pursue a career in education that had knocked on her door.
Instead, she teamed up with former Thomas Mapfumo’s guitarist-cum-producer, Zivanai Masango, to start a her journey in music.
But the journey was not easy.
“I would get into the boot of a Peugeot 504 from Warren Park to Willowvale Road near Western Triangle.
“I would then walk across Highfield to Glen Norah C, known as Kumasimbi, where Masango stayed, for my music demo that I later took to Elias Musakwa. I then recorded the final product for my first album at Shed Studios,” she recalled.
The piece of history proved how the 38-year-old gospel singer was determined to pursue a career in music.
It is almost 20 years down the line since Fungisai made the bold decision to go into music full-time.
She now boasts 15 albums and has managed to claim a seat among top female musicians in the country since she started her music journey in 2000.
The reason that earned her a top seat among the best musicians is that she chose a path that many would not have envisioned at the start of her career.
Fungisai believes perseverance and dedication shaped her career.
“Obviously, as a female artiste, 20 years of dedication and hard work may go unnoticed.
“However, for me it is a blessing and I believe I have been favoured by God to be serving him with all my life and everything I have.
“It has been a tough and very long journey, full of ups and downs, but I have seen victory through it all.
“What the Lord has done is amazing and I am humbled by how God enabled me to bridge the gap across generations.
“Whenever I see elderly people and infants across geographical boundaries dancing along to my music, I marvel to see how eternal the music gift is.
“I can only thank God for the opportunity he gave me by housing the gift within me in my generation,” she said.
The “Toita Zvedenga” hitmaker believes she still has the energy to walk another milestone in music, as nothing has changed since the beginning.
“Nothing has changed about me, as it has all been about hearing and delivering letters from God to their recipients.
“If anything has changed, it is the society we live in especially in music tastes and preferences. But God has fully equipped me to keep abreast with such socio-cultural changes,” she said.