The Herald – Breaking news

Arts Reporter

Botswana-based musician and businesswoman Mary Zinyimo Mhiribidi, known in music circles as Mai Zee, will this year launch music awards to incorporate both Zimbabwe and diaspora based musicians.

The Gaborone-based musician, who recently launched a 4 track EP titled Haiboo, said this was her way to promote and reward excellence.

“I have seen efforts by various music award boards over the years and I think rewarding and promoting excellence is good for the industry,” she said. “My version of awards will be held in Botswana but covering musicians in the region and beyond. I am working with a team of professionals based in Botswana and Zimbabwe.”

Mhiribidi, who is a respected educationist, has been based in Botswana for close to a decade and she said she was happy with the rich artistic network at her disposal.

“I have been in Botswana for almost 10 years and I am proud of the rich network I have created,” she said. “This will come in handy in ensuring the awards are a big success. We want to host something that will bring pride to Zimbabwe and the region.”

Mai Zee Music makes regional impact Of her own production, the gospel music sensation said she was happy to be making big in-roads in gospel music with her sound becoming a favourite of many in Zimbabwe, as well as in her current base, Botswana, where she is staying with her family and running a family business.

The Masvingo-born educationist who has five albums and an EP to her name told The Herald Arts and Entertainment that she was happy with her music career path and was counting on her recently launched music project, Haiboo, to entrench her position as a gospel music powerhouse not only in Zimbabwe, but the region and beyond.

“I am very passionate about music, teaching and worshipping God,” she said. “Music for me is a ministry and a good way to express my reverence for God and to herald his goodness and love for humanity.

“I am happy with the strides I have made since I started my music journey and I am even more elated that the new project which I launched back home in Zimbabwe early April is fast proving to be a favourite of many. The sound is enchanting and the message apt for those with a liking for well-meaning gospel music.”

Mhiribidi’s project titled “Haiboo” comes with four high quality songs namely “Dhuma Dhuma”, “Haiboo” the title track, “Tsiurikai” and “Ndiye Ega Jesu”.

“My current project is an EP and it comes with four songs only,” she said. “I did ‘Ndiye Ega Jesu ‘as way of thanking God for what he has done in my life. On ‘Tsiurikai’, I was trying to tell close people we relate with to love people genuinely and stop loving people for material benefits because some just love what you  have but not you.

“My songs for this EP were produced by Zolasko who is a force in Botswana and my son Farirai Zinyimo who is better known as Fuzzy Hymself in music circles. Minister Blessed did his fair share with the beats.”

Of her love for music, Mhiribidi said she discovered her passion early on when she would sing in church and was happy to encourage others through innovations like the soon-to-be launched music awards.

“I discovered my love for music a very long time ago, when I would sing in church and the school choirs,” she said. “That experience helped me connect better with God and nurtured my drive for inspired music.

“My journey as a professional musician started in 2017. I discovered my talent after a misfortune of food poisoning. I wanted to write a song thanking God for His mercies that is forever and from then I haven’t looked back. My first music project was in 2017 with a song called ‘Ndakamuona Jesu.’”

The affable musician, who is highly respected for her philanthropy and love for humanity, said she was working on a number of collaborations that will be unveiled in due time.

“My music borders on a message of love, repentance and working hard,” she said. “I want my music to inspire and minister to people in one way or another. I am also a giver and I have helped so many musicians to record or launch their music, I have also helped some  with school fees, wheel chairs and food.

“My vision is not only local but international and for that reason I am also collaborating with both local and regional musicians so that I spread my reach. Finer details about these collaborations will be shared in due course.”

Mhiribidi took the opportunity to thank her family especially her son and husband for the maximum support in her career and shared the great plans she has for the future.

“I am grateful for a supportive family that has helped me pursue my music dream with great finesse,” she said. “My family gives me 200 percent support especially my husband and son. They are there in all what I do.

“My plans are to have my brand for music grow and to help the music industry by starting auditions searching for talent and giving awards to those who are exceptionally talented without favour, or discrimination here in Botswana. We also intent to do more on giving back to the community.”

While her career is on a positive surge, Mhiribidi called for more support towards musicians so that they can realise their dreams.

She also intimated on her long term plans with her career.

“Artistes need more support if they are to go far,” said Mhiribidi. “They need to be given fair and adequate air play, young talent must be recognised and we must buy their music and ensure that they get  royalties for the airplay.

“The award that we are working on will also help spur and capacitate musicians to achieve more.” As she sets her sight on conquering the world, Mhiribidi thanked her loyal fans for the amazing support throughout her music journey.

“I want to thank my fans for their unwavering support,” she said. “I have come this far because of their support and I pledge to continue giving them the best blend of gospel music.”

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