Tanaka Mahanya,Features Writer
Whitney Matiyanga, a.k.a Brity Yonly, a Zimbabwean based in China, is keen to put the country on the international market through music.
Speaking to The Herald, Matiyanga said her music is inspired by the African culture and appreciates the continent’s originality and uniqueness.
In the past, she worked with Afro Jazz bands like The Blacks and Fire Fox Band as a lead singer before going solo in 2015.
“I play and teach mbira and marimba instruments, which have become a trademark instrument giving an African melody to my music,” said Whitney.
In 2018, she represented Zimbabwe at the Bergen Afro Arts Festival (BAAF) in Norway where she performed and conducted some mbira workshops.
While in Norway, Whitney collaborated with a Germany violinist, Steffi Wissing, on a song titled Tinzwe Kuchema.
An activist for women’s issues, Whitney is launching a Music for Girls and Women (MUFOGWO) festival which aims at empowering girls in the arts industry.
She hopes to address challenges faced by women in breaking the glass ceiling in the male dominated entertainment industry.
“I was motivated to launch an annual music festival for female musicians with the aim of giving them a free platform to exhibit their talents and build their self-esteem,” said Whitney.
She advised artists to take their work seriously and bring out the uniqueness in them, rather than spend lots of time imitating others.
Whitney is currently performing at an International Circus in China and her audience comprises of people from across the world.
The single she released in August last year, Fame Without Money, tackles problems faced by artists which include piracy, meagre payments on gigs and lack of performing slots.
She has performed a few times in the country, and is looking forward to more gigs.