Music was not an inborn talent: Manatsa

SNEAK PEEK :Precious Chida

UNITED KINGDOM-BASED up-and-coming gospel musician Sharon Manatsa recently had her first performance on home soil at Jasen Mphepo Little Theatre. Dubbed “One Night With Sharon Manatsa”, the event saw her sharing the stage with her father-in-law, veteran musician Zexie Manatsa. The 29-year-old Manatsa is married to fellow musician, Zexie Manatsa (Jnr). She said being part of the Manatsa family made her grow into a better artiste. Although she was born in Harare and grew up in Bulawayo, she and her family migrated to the UK when she was nine. NewsDay (ND) Life & Style reporter Precious Chida caught up with Manatsa (SM), who shared her experiences as a gospel artiste in the diaspora. Below are excerpts from the interview;
ND: What made you venture into music?

SM: I started singing in the UK. My church, Forward in Faith Ministries, had opened another branch and there was need for people in the praise and worship team and I decided to give it a try. I enjoyed singing, although I was not a really good singer. However, later, after I met my husband, he helped me to nurture my talent.

ND: You have said the first time you ventured into music, you were not a good singer. What steps did you take to improve your singing?

SM: I went through a lot of practice. I did vocal training and exposed myself to new environments, which helped me to learn music.

ND: How was the adrenalin rush like ahead of your debut performance on home soil?

SM: Epic is an understatement. What can I say? It was the most exciting, yet scary experience, because I was not sure if people would accept me and my ministry. But I thank God for the people who came out to support me. It was an amazing experience.

ND: Tell us more about your music journey?

SM: My initial album was birthed in 2017 titled Friends in Christ. This year, I launched my solo career and released the album, Inyasha, alongside videos for the songs Inyasha and Simukai Jehovah, in which I collaborated with my father-in-law and Rudo, which I did with my husband Zex (Jnr). I will also be releasing a video soon in which I collaborated with (journeyman musician) John Cole.

ND: What can you say you have adopted from your father-in-law and applied to your music?

SM: Dad is a legend. I strive to hold the same veteran musicianship in my own right as a musician.

ND: Do you see yourself becoming a household name?

SM: That is my every day prayer, not for my personal gratification, but for the edification of the body of Christ.

ND: How has working with your husband been like?

SM: My husband is my confidante, my prayer partner and my main support, all of which has helped advance my music career.

ND: What are your impressions about the local gospel industry?

SM: So much talent which surrounds us! I pray we all come together and do the biggest outreach in Zimbabwe and all over the world through music.

ND: As a growing musician based in the diaspora, what is your strategy to penetrate the Zimbabwean market?

SM: Regularly, I visit Zimbabwe and this year I have visited twice. Getting personal with the people of Zimbabwe is a good starting point and sharing my music with them on an open platform.

ND: Are there any limitations you face for being a Zimbabwean musician in a foreign country?

SM: It is a challenge in many aspects, but there are also opportunities that are yet to be explored. The sky is the limit.

ND: Your parting shot?

SM: I have an upcoming video for my song, Tinofamba Munyasha, which was choreographed by John Cole and directed by the talented Andy Cutta. My fans can look out for it.