5 Zimbabwean female musicians breaking barriers.
The entertainment industry is a very challenging place. In Zimbabwe female performers have had to work twice as hard as their male counterparts. Often female entertainers face criticism and backlash from the public and at times, media. However for the resilient ones, they have come on top of their game. It takes a lot to become not just an entertainer but the best. We compile a list of Zimbabwe’s best female entertainers. The list is based on live performances, audio-visual music as well as professionalism.
1. Gemma Griffiths
Gemma Griffiths is undeniably a household name in Zimbabwe. Her collaboration with Zimbabwe’s Dancehall king, Winky D, “MuGarden”, broke the country’s record for the fastest Youtube views in Zimbabwean history. The hit song made number 1 on the BBC Afrobeats charts shortly after its release, as well as the Nigerian charts.
Gemma performed at Sofar Sounds in London 2017, as well as at the Uk’s prestigious music channel ‘Mahogany Sessions’. She then opened for Grammy Award winning UK artist Joss Stone as part of Stone’s World Tour. As of now, Gemma has been appointed brand ambassador for South African based Zimbabwean insurance company Zororo-Phumulani which will last for a year and will be renewed thus according to the contract. Her rapid growth to stardom has seen her become one of Zimbabwe’s most popular artists.
Zimbabwean-born songstress and queen of the trending ‘Amapiano’ genre Sha Sha made Zimbabwe and southern Africa proud when she bagged the prestigious Black Entertainment Television (BET) gong for Viewers’ Choice: Best New International Act.
The South African-based sensation made history by becoming the first local to be nominated to such a prestigious award, and clinching it is an endorsement billed to take her places. Sha Sha proved her mettle despite being nominated in a category alongside Nigeria’s favourite new kid on the block, Rema, as well as the UK’s Young T and Bugsey, the duo responsible for the massive #DontRushChallenge.
3. Ammara Brown
Ammara Brown, daughter of music legend Andy Brown first found fame in the 1990’s, debuting in a TV commercial alongside Oliver Mtukudzi. Now a major brand, the "Mukoko" star has risen to become the most-sought-after female artist in Zimbabwe.
In 2008, Ammara made it to the top 10 of Idols, East and Southern Africa. With her eclectic musical style, fused with influences of afro and urban sounds, she made it to the top five before being eliminated. In 2010, she performed at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, alongside South African rapper Flabba from the popular Hip-pop group, Skwatta Kamp. She also performed for Malawian presidents Bingu Wa Mutharika and Joyce Banda. Ammara has also performed alongside local and international artists that include Tehn Diamond, Jah Prayzah, P Square and Mi Casa. Ammara is famous for her high energy performances and sultry, pulsating delivery.
4. Tamy Moyo
Tamy Moyo is Arguable one of the hottest young female artist in the Zimbabwe music scene today. Since launching her music career at the age of 18 she has risen and commands a huge following across Africa and Europe.
The talented singer announced her arrival on the music scene in 2016 with a refreshing debut six track album titled The 18th Roller coster.From that master piece of an album, the song Ndibereke set her onto the big stage and positioned her as a new sound of Zimbabwe.The song got many great reviews from music critics, journalists and radio presenters and remains an athem every time she performs it. Tamy has released chart topping singles like "Beautiful Ndozvandiri", "Lay it down" which features Nutty O and her latest offering "Kuteera" alongside Jah Prayzah. A uniquely gifted performer, Tamy combines her vocal ability, left hand guitar skills and some high energy stage choreography. Tamy boasts of a number of awards to her credit.
5. Janet Manyowa
Janet Manyowa is a remarkable contemporary gospel singer with an iconic voice. She is mostly known for the hit song "Amazing God" known to lift many. Her voice gives goose bumps and reverberates from her soul. With such a powerful voice and weighty lyrics, she has been named Zimbabwe’s best female musician at the NAMA Awards.
Manyowa's career started in 2014 and her singles and videos have topped charts on the local gospel scene. Last year, Manyowa dominated the Prophet Emmanuel and Ruth Makandiwa Invitational Awards Night (PERMICAN)awards as she scooped four accolades. She won the Best Album of the Year for her release titled “Grateful”, Best Female Artist, Best Song Writer and Best Video of the Year for the song “Nyasha neNgoni”.