Tahle WeDzinza (21) exploded onto the Zimbabwean music scene by injecting her silky voice into collaborative hits like ‘Give Me More’ with Jah Prayzah, ‘Chekeche’ with the Military Touch Movement (MTM) All Stars, ‘Ndibhambise Tione’ with Tocky Vibes and ‘Teleunga’ on her own.
Born Anesu Robyn Ketahle Dusika Chaya Dawani, Tahle WeDzinza spoke to our Managing Editor Lance Guma and shared previously unknown titbits about her life. The most obvious is her intriguing name. Why did she go with Tahle WeDzinza?
“My full name is Anesu Robyn Ketahle Dusika Chaya Dawani. Tahle, short for Ketahle, means light or happiness. When translated Tahle we Dzinza means light or happiness of the generation. What I desire to achieve through my music is create a platform of beautiful dialogue amongst my people in hopes that it relieves whatever pains they may go through.”
What got you interested in music?
“I come from a very musical background. My mother is an exceptional musician and composer , growing up I was always surrounded with all types of music from classic to reggae, jazz to rnb, tribal and spiritual. So from a very young age it’s as if I was already musically oriented.
“My mum however, realized that I had a knack for music around the age of 3. I personally got an appreciation for my God given talent at the age of 11 when I started enrolling into international vocal assessments through the national institute of allied arts.
“They have vocal experts and gurus all the way from New York, Germany and South Africa. And from the time I scored my first distinction I’ve never looked back, music is my soul.”
When did you get your breakthrough?
“As for a breakthrough, I would say I am nowhere near a 1/4 way to where I envision but I definitely say that songs such as Chekeche, Give Me More, Teleunga and now NdiBhambise Tione ft the most amazing and brilliant artist I’ve ever worked with to date, Tocky Vibes, all play such an important role in moulding the path where I desire to go.”
How did the collaboration with Tocky Vibes come about;
“I never saw the collaboration coming but I was super excited to work with because from the bottom of my heart I truly value and am inspired by his work.
“I have worked with Tocky before, I featured as his love interest in one of his music videos. But I was overjoyed when he extended his hand to do a collaboration with me.
‘He tasked me to come up with something. Which was a challenging and yet exciting process cause I was eager to hear for myself how a Tahle and Tocky would sound.”
Challenges faced by female musicians
“Well when I first started in the commercial side. I never saw limitation and in actuality I still don’t. I think I’ve been exposed long enough to see where the obstacles can be.
“There’s no hiding that it is a male dominated Industry, which is not a bad thing. But with the male top dominance I think sometimes when it comes to perception about what women can and cannot do some people have made up their minds (lol) as if dreams and ambition is gender sensitive.
“As for me, I think the notion that women have to rely on their sexual nature to sell and to be ground breaking is sad. It’s not something that people generally impose explicitly but I’ve noticed that it is something most people expect for you to be able to do if need be. I personally would not want any female to feel that working hard, their practice and God. Isn’t enough.
“How you reveal is up to you. It should never be imposed.
What’s your message to fellow female musicians?
“I think women need to get into the Industry with their eyes wide open because their sexuality will be used as tool to propel their careers.
“I am still on my journey and continue to learn. Based on how far I’ve come I would encourage women to be managed by their own families because no one has your back covered like family.
“I myself am managed by mom and without a shadow of doubt I know I have one less headache cause I know the core is secure.”
“Lastly the biggest lesson I’ve learnt in my journey so far is the need to celebrate our African identity. As African women we have a lot to offer than comes from the truth of our culture.
“I’m not saying by any way that our music needs to go back to an ancient time but our cultural truths must be shared with the world irrespective of what genres sing.
“I really believe the world is hungry to experience African culture. And young women should not feel pressured to emulate other cultures especially pop culture because it is not our truth.
“It is my conviction that there is only one Beyoncé and as good as she may be, the world is not looking for another one. If we can be proud of our heritage, our black berryness, our kinky hair, dreadlocks and Afro hair and our languages. I think our Zimbabwe flag will fly high internationally. My desire is that Zimbabwean women will occupy that space in their numbers.”
Something that will intrigue our readers
“Lol I was a top volley player in high school. And I represented and won my regional prize for athletics in a sport called hammer throw. I also have a deep desire to take up boxing as a sport.’
What does the future hold for you?
“My deepest desire is to make a lasting contribution to the acceptance of African identity amongst my fellow Africans through music. I think in my generation because of the social changes and influence we have shied away from what truly makes us different.
“What makes people different is having a strong sense of belonging. For some reason we now feel it’s uncool and primitive in some instances to uphold our identity as Africans. And I pray with the grace that my music will be something that my people will proud to identify with and that other Africans and nationalities will truly see the power and brilliance that African identity has.”
“I have no idea where I’ll be in the future cause God holds all the cards but I definitely pray that I am blessed to see myself grow spiritually, mentally in order for me to be able pass something of great importance to the next generation.
“I am so passionate about the identity of the African. It’s something that has been taken away from us because I feel if we were truly to come into contact with who we really we would achieve more. I want to be part of that change.” Nehanda Radio