Runako Connect Blog

Nkatha - The audacity of a musical dream

Many a dream have been born in this little land that we call Zimbabwe. There are so many amazing and talented young women and men who aspire to great things. For so many of us, the realities of life force us to relegate our dreams to the depths of our hearts, never to see light again. For one young and talented woman with an amazing voice, the passion to sing was too strong to suppress. With just a few cover songs on YouTube, Nkatha is capturing the attention of many all over Zim and abroad with her powerfully unique renditions of sensational songs like Joro and Kure. We got a chance to catch up with Nkatha to learn a bit more about the woman behind the amazing voice and killer afro.

Tell Us about Yourself and your journey into the music scene

My music journey actually started when I was 10yrs old , it goes all the way back to me singing in assembly in Primary school every now and then in Bulawayo where i grew up. My late mom, who was also my teacher, always made sure I expressed myself and explored my talents. I took part in the ASIMP annual competitions where I won the best solo singing act three years in a row 2007,2008 and 2009 with the help of my music coach Mr Mupatsi. At one point I was even chosen to sing at an event for the late former president of Zimbabwe RG Mugabe.

When my mother passed away I was just 12 years old. A part of me left with her along with my will to sing. She had been my inspiration and the motivation behind all my singing. I lost it, my confidence, the joy i got from singing, it was all gone.

Most of my high school years were a drag. I was part of an Acapella group for a while in high school but I had lost my self esteem and couldn't find my true voice. Only after 9 years did I manage to properly grieve my mother's passing and got over her death. That's when i started truly re-exploring my talent and started singing again. After making peace with myself I actually wanted to fulfill all that my mom inspired me to do. Its the motivation that led me to being a BioMed student today, pushing towards Medicine and its the reason i started singing again. It has been a long journey of self discovery from the time of my mom's passing up to now where I think I have grown into a woman who is working on fulfilling everything she wanted for me. It's only now that I've finally grieved and let go, that I'm actually finding myself again. She's the reason I decided to revive my love for music and actually take it to the next level. She would have wanted this for me hence I called myself Nkatha which is a totem she always called me by. Since her passing I have had nothing but love and support from my aunt who happens to be my mom's twin sister. I wouldn't be where I am today without her.

Tell us a bit more about your music and what it means to you?

For me music isn't just a hobby,it's who I am. If you've listened to my music, you've heard my pray. I believe my talent is God given, I was born for this and because I feel it in my heart that this is my purpose I know I will make it to the top ,God willing.

The most fun part of my budding career is the song writing , I write what I've experienced and I sing what I feel , and it's phenomenal seeing my experiences heal others and come to life in my songs.

For a full year I've been working on cover songs and acapella pieces, all these can be found on my YouTube channel @Nkatha. I did this to grow an audience, to get my name out there before officially releasing original songs and most importantly to find my sound.I'm quite versatile, whatever rocks my world at that moment goes but as an upcoming musician its good to stick to a certain sound that people can identify me with.

Next month I'm dropping my first single. Aside from the difficult pandemic situation, There couldn't have been a better time to actually kick start my career. In the last year I've met producers and people who are well versed with the music industry. I've learnt so so much. I have the best mentors I could ever ask for namely Terry Ncube, DJ Toots and DJ Nitefreak. The way they believe in me is so over whelming. I swear to you there were times when I wanted to give up before I even begun, but they kept me going and for that I'll forever be grateful.

What are the challenges you have faced & lessons learnt in starting your music career?

I hustle for everything I have and in an economy like ours there's only so much one can do. But money will not be the reason I stop pursuing my goals. I just wish our country had more to offer for artists, more platforms to advertise and market ourselves. As it is, I have to be my own manager, PR ,PA , stylist etc because there is no real structure to support upcoming musical artists.

If anything I've learnt that patience is key.

Rome wasn't built in a day and any good thing takes time. Most musicians seek immediate results in their release of content but the truth is not everyone is lucky enough to blow up over night , for some it may take years.