Hohodza Band Leader Remembers Girl Child

UNITED Kingdom-based Zimbabwean contemporary musician, Portia Gwanzura this weekend commemorated the International Day of the Girl by launching a new video for the song, “Ana Mhofu”.

The International Day of the Girl is commemorated every year on October 11, celebrating the importance, power, and potential of girls around the world.

The video, which was shot in Wigan and Birmingham by Enock Kamhiriri, talks about cultural heritage and how people should embrace their totems.

In the video, Gwanzura features her family and friends dancing, clad in white. She proved that it is still in her blood as she dances energetically, while her melodious voice still competes with younger musicians.

In an interview with The Herald Arts, Gwanzura — who fronts a traditional music band — Hohodza — said people should be proud and respect of their identity.

“In commemoration of the girl child, I launched my video over the weekend and I dedicate the video to the girl child. I am a proud Zimbabwean and I wrote the song because I am a ‘Shava Chihera’ and wanted to do something for my fellow ‘Mhofu’ and ‘Chihera’s. I know most people will be surprised why I am still focusing on getting back to my roots with music, it is because I have noticed the gap between left my some of the yesteryear greats and musicians of nowadays. If you can compare it is difficult to play some of the songs as they do not have a meaning yet alone identity,” she said.

Gwanzura, who said the lockdown has resurrected her career, describes how the girl child should get equal opportunity just like the boy child.

“I am a nurse by profession and you know how difficult our job is, especially this time. I have been so busy and with the little time I got, I managed to go back to the studio, re-launch my career and now I am busy shooting videos of singles I have released. Growing up it was difficult for us especially the women, to venture in the music and I happy that now the girl child can compete with the boy child. What is left is for some parts of the world to give equal opportunity to the girl child, to let her star shine.

This year’s theme is, “My voice, our equal future”, and this has inspired me greatly to take lead as a female musician, reminding the boys and men that we are also human,” she explained.

Gwanzura said has also joined other musicians by embracing the culture of virtual platforms.

“I have launched my videos online and I am also engaging and interacting with my fans on social media, which has helped me to discover more about myself. We are also planning to do a live session with my band as now the demand is high with yesteryear fans. I am now to engage some of Zimbabwean radio stations to play my music.

I have done some of the interviews and I want people to connect with my music,” she said.

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