Skills can take you places says Mtukudzi

Selmor Mtukudzi believes that she has always been destined for the stage, behind the microphone. Although it is not an easy road to fame, aspiring female musicians should take advantage of their challenges to excel she says. She speaks to Sofia Mapuranga on her road to success and what she hopes to achieve in her musical career.

Selmor Mtukudzi.
Selmor Mtukudzi.

SOFIA: What defines you as a young female musician?

SELMOR: I believe that my unique voice, dance moves and my hosho playing skills set me aside as an artist. I identify with these acts and I really enjoy myself whenever I am on stage performing for my fans.

SOFIA: Growing up as the daughter of a famous musician father, you definitely had career prospects. What did you hope to be professionally and why?

SELMOR: I have always loved singing and I knew very early on in my life that I wanted to sing when I grew up. When asked by grown ups back then on what I wanted to do, I used to tell them that I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer.

This was because those were the careers that were respected and expected of us back then. I realised that singing was for me because when I used to sing at church, I felt fulfilled.

SOFIA: Who is your role model and why?

SELMOR: I am inspired by hard workers.

My father has invested a lot in his career and his work and I am motivated to follow in his footsteps. Looking at him makes me believe that everything is possible. Success is certain when you work hard.

SOFIA: And your secret to success?

SELMOR: Prayer and hard work. The two also complement each other in many ways.

SOFIA: What do you appreciate about Zim’s music industry?

SELMOR: Female artists are allowed to express their creativity in front of a lot of people unlike in some Asian countries where it is taboo.

Freedom of expression is a blessing which as a young woman, I am happy with. I love it that young artists regardless of their gender are given the opportunity to excel in the arts and that we have people that are willing to invest in our growth.

SOFIA: What is it that you would wish changed regarding the country’s arts environment?

SELMOR: The worst scenario in the industry is that female artist are still looked down upon despite the fact that we have proved ourselves to be just as good as our male counterparts. Our industry lacks real promoters who want to grow the industry.

We have a lot of business people who are out to make money out of artists and so our industry will not reach its full potential with such people leading it.

SOFIA: What do you think should be done to ensure that the industry is lucrative for artists?

SELMOR: Government should help us in our fight against piracy. This is destroying our growth as artists and it is preventing artists from realising meaningful income for their livelihoods. Piracy is our number one problem and we need to eradicate it to ensure that artists make a living out of their work.

SOFIA: Where do you see yourself in the next five to 10 years?

SELMOR: I see myself as a household name inspiring young women to follow their dreams and work hard. I envision my career motivating others especially as I grow in the industry. I am looking forward to the day when my brand will be the most sought after brand in the country and beyond the borders.

SOFIA: What is your advice to aspiring female musicians?

SELMOR: Be very sure that music is what you want to do and be willing to work hard for it. Real success does not come overnight. Find yourself a partner who understands your work and is willing to stand by you because sometimes female musicians are told to quit music by their husbands as soon as they are married. Lastly, enjoy what you do. It is very important to enjoy your work because the reality is that sometimes you have to work for no pay.

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