Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Pauline reflects on tribulations of female singers

By Godwin Muzari

Issues of abuse and neglect of female musicians have been sensitive for a long time and seem to irk songstresses.

Songbird Pauline Gundidza
Songbird Pauline Gundidza

To some critics, the issues have been overplayed and tend to portray a crybaby mentality, but such judgments can be suicidal in the realm of gender narratives.

Female musicians continue to sing loud and often-times, emotionally about their quest for respect and protection.

It was same theme that Pauline Gundidza amplified in a recent interview with online show, “The A-List”.

Choosing an engaging narrative over emotional eruption that usually characterises such stories, Gundidza shared her views and experiences.

She seemed mostly worried about a stereotypical image that has been cast upon, mostly secular, female musicians for many decades.

The assumption that songstresses are of loose morals remains a stubborn perception.

“It is not proper to call us names. We are women working just like in any other profession.

“There are many talented musicians that have been heartbroken because their would-be in-laws could not accommodate a woman of loose morals in their families. And that judgement comes simply because the lady is a singer,” said Gundidza.

“They say ‘these people spend time performing in bars and they go home in the morning, they are just like prostitutes’. People should respect female musicians and stop calling them names. The fact that our workspace is different from others does not make us immoral.”

There are many female musicians that quit their art after getting married as their husbands made decisions to turn the tables.

However, Gundidza could not dismiss the fact that some individuals within their sector could have set bad examples and gave ammunition to their critics.

“As female artistes, we should also respect ourselves to earn respect from other stakeholders in the industry.

“If our behaviour is questionable, we give people negative impressions. For example, if you do not immediately go home after a show and you are seen getting into a promoter’s car and you start drinking together while other band members go home, what does that show? People will be forgiven for making negative conclusions.

“Let us be professional.”

She saluted women like Virginia Sillah Jangano, Stella Chiweshe and Susan Mapfumo for standing out in a male-dominated industry to open a way for female musicians that have graced the scene as lead singers and band leaders over the years.

“They had to stand above the stigma and show that women can also make it as leaders in music. Many that came before them were dancers and backing vocalists, but today many women are prepared to start their own bands.”

Gundidza works with an organisation that promotes women’s rights and she also spoke about general social ills that affect women.

She said all women need respect because they are mothers of the nation.

She alluded to a common trend in cities where women are verbally or physically abused because their dressing. She also encouraged parents to support their daughters academically to prepare them for bright future.

“The A-List Show” fights for women’s rights through engaging celebrities to share their views on the issue.

It is produced by United Kingdom-based actress, dancer and choreographer Enisia Mashusha. The Herald