Godwin Muzari Lifestyle Editor
Lyn Magodo’s role as Eriza on Jah Prayzah’s video with the same title was, obviously, one of the highest crests of her career.
Clad in a school uniform that presented her as a young high school student, the video went viral and made Lyn a celebrity overnight.
She was already finding her way to fame as Lady Storm, leader of an ensemble of dancers and singers known as Swagga Band, but her appearance on “Eriza” video catapulted her to early fame.
She became known with many names — Lynn, Lady Storm and Eriza — she was indeed a lady brewing a storm in the showbiz scene.
Wherever she went, Eriza became her recognition title.
She did not only get fame from that title, but fortune also knocked on her door.
Within a year in 2016, she was able to buy three cars. She got a Nissan Primera, Toyota Rav4 and a Mercedes Benz C200.
Shows were storming her way as she got contracts as Lady Storm, while some promoters engaged her services to feature on stage with Jah Prayzah without the backing of her band.
Today, she has many tales about the journey she has travelled in the arts sector.
She still marvels at the opportunity Jah Prayzah gave her and is beaming with hope for a better future.
“I am currently shaping the way for a great future,” says Lyn.
“I have worked with several musicians, but I cherish the time I had with Jah Prayzah. He gave me exposure that had great returns beyond my anticipations.
“I met Mabla 10, who is part of Jah Prayzah’s team, when I was doing some music and dance challenges at Holly’s Hotel and he enjoyed my act. When we got close, I was invited to their shows and I provided a cameo act when they had a gig at Zebra in Mbare.
“Jah Prayzah enjoyed my act, but he did not say anything that day. After some months, I received a call from his team and they said they were working on a video that needed a leading female role. I was staying in Avondale, so I immediately drove to their office in Belvedere.
“They explained the idea and I was ready for the role. I did a few paces as an auditioning act and they loved it.
“That was how I got the role. It was so easy and unexpected. The video was done in Belvedere, Kuwadzana and Lusaka in Highfield. It was such an exciting experience.”
After a few rehearsals, Lyn joined other team members in preparation for the video.
She was the one to choose the school uniform that was used on the video.
For some months, the uniform became popular, even at Jah Prayzah’s shows where some fans came donning similar scholastic outfits.
The uniform became a trademark for Eriza, who accompanied Jah Prayzah to many of his shows and joined him on stage for the historic song and other hits.
“A number of promoters wanted me to be part of Jah Prayzah’s act,” says Lyn. “The advantage was that I would go alone for the shows and got paid as an individual. I actually got more than I would earn when I was working with my band under the Lady Storm brand.
“The Eriza brand was more fulfilling and exciting, but I kept on pursuing the separate avenue as Lady Storm. I earned a lot as Eriza and I was able to buy three cars within a year. It was one of the most successful eras of my career and I thank Jah Prayzah for giving me the opportunity.”
A few weeks after the success of the Eriza video, Lyn realised she was no longer the ordinary artiste who would freely mingle with people without being recognised.
“One day I travelled to the city centre in a commuter omnibus and I got the shock of my life,” she says. “People in the public vehicle recognised me and the discussion throughout the journey was centred on me. It was exciting at first, but I later felt uncomfortable.
“When I disembarked from the kombi in town, the reception was even more exciting and annoying at the same time. I realised I could no longer lead a private life. That was the last time I used public transport. I discovered the need to be in a certain bracket of privacy because of the fame that came with being Eriza.”
The popularity she amassed came with successes and challenges.
She had to meet many men that offered to help her, yet they had hidden agendas.
“The main challenge I faced when I became popular was encountering pretenders that had hidden agendas,” says Lyn. “A number of promoters and sponsors volunteered to work with me.
“I was promised many things, but I later realised that most of the benefactors would ask for sexual favours in return. It broke my heart because I was so focused on developing my career, yet I ended up working with wrong people.”
Lyn says she was happy to have a supportive husband at a time that she went through tests, trials and tribulations of the showbiz scene.
“My husband that time, Tinarwo Gotora, was supportive and he helped me to overcome some of the challenges that came with being famous,” she says. “A lot of negative things also popped up with my name, but he made me strong. I had a shoulder to lean on and I am grateful for the love and support he showed me.”
Lyn and her husband went separate ways early this year after going through the trials and tribulations of a famous lifestyle.
But Lyn says she still respects the father of her only daughter and cherishes the time they had together.
The dancer-cum-singer says the current lockdown has helped her reconsider many aspects of life and she is working on a number of projects in her arts endeavour.
She has always been an enterprising lady who has tried a lot of adventures to complement her income from the arts.
“I am good at buying and selling,” she says. “I have been to China several times to get things for sale. I have tried lines that include ladies’ clothes, make-up accessories and other cosmetic products. I continue selling many things even in this lockdown, because I have to keep raising income to take care of myself and my daughter at this time when there are no shows.”
Lyn saluted sungura musicians Alick Macheso and Romeo Gasa for the support they have given her in the industry.
“After the lapse of the Eriza crazy, I had to continue pursuing other avenues in showbiz,” she says.
“Macheso gave me fatherly support and I would just call him requesting to be part of his shows and he agreed.
“Romeo is like a brother to me. We have been working on a number projects and we recently did a collaboration. I am happy to be an artiste and I thank my family for the support.”
Lyn is the first born in a family of five and she has a military background, having spent her childhood in military camps where her father worked.
She also trained as a soldier and spent three years serving in the army before leaving on medical grounds.
Lyn says her training as a soldier gave her attributes like respect and discipline, which have helped her in her career as an artiste.