SONGBIRD Cindy Munyavi believes she is living her dream as a musician and fashion entrepreneur though in her childhood days she was obsessed with becoming a doctor.
The 34-year-old said destiny played a role to what she is now in her life as an entertainer and a business woman.
She also thanked her father for being supportive in her music and educational choices.
In an interview with H-Metro reporter EDWIN NHUKARUME (EN), Cindy (CM) opened up on her love life, aspirations and achievements she has made through music since 2004. She has three albums to her credit, namely Kukuda released in 2006, Tha Groove Theory unleashed in 2010 and MVC (Music Vocals Cindy) released in 2017.
EN: How are you and how is life treating you?
CM: So far so good, I am just a busy woman and always occupied. Nothing much to complain.
EN: Since you were a child have you ever thought that one day you will be an entrepreneur and musician?
CM: When I was a child I actually thought I would be a doctor because during mahumbwe -childhood games- I would always be a doctor, the days I had been promoted from being a cat or a mouse.
Then by form four I realised that I did not enjoy sciences that much, I enjoyed commercials.
I was into the school choir, buying clothes from wholesales and reselling.
I realised that being a doctor was not my calling so I then migrated my interest towards commercials, I passed my sciences too but I was no longer interested in them.
I knew at ‘A’ level I wanted to do Accounts, Economics and Management of Business because I felt that is where my future is.
I was fortunate to have a father who also helped me to make some these choices when I laid out what I wanted to be.
My dad wanted me to be an accountant so he was also pushing for commercials because he thought I would take the accountant profession but I hated accounts with a passion.
EN: What motivated and contributed to the person you are right now?
CM: What motivated me to be the person I am right now is the hustler in me, I think.
Ever since I was a child I have always been a hustler and an entertainer.
When I told my parents that I wanted to be a singer when I was 19, my mother was not for it at first, but my father said I am not surprised so I got money to go to the studio from my parents. They walked with me in this journey right from the start. So I do not think it’s about motivation, but I think what happened to me is walking right into my destiny.
Who I am right now is who I was meant to become with the help of several individuals that surrounded me, I mean musically I have grown a lot because of my management Bryce Nation.
EN: How do you manage to balance your music career and business?
CM: It’s very easy to manage business and music because they feed off each other.
I am grateful to have my shop manager Locadia handling the business as well as my directors in my company, I also have my manager and producer Elton Bryce and team managing the music side.
What makes it easier is that I am surrounded by people who help me.
EN: What forthcoming projects do you have?
CM: Currently, we are signed to an American label called Ivy League Au ‘dae Empire, and you will see what is in the pipeline.
We will be unleashing everything that’s happening as it comes.
And in terms of business, I have friends who are very encouraging and I guess most of my friends are fashion enthusiasts as you look at the likes of Hollywood Lee and Phillipa Nyahwo who is also a makeup and hair enthusiast. All my friends are stylish.
Now I am polishing up my fourth album titled No one is safe – N1IS- that’s the abbreviation you know how it is with abbreviations on all my album titles.
It has got beat makers like DJ Dro from Zambia and Rodney Beats based at MTM, he is also responsible for making beats like songs for Setter Pace and Clap for My Baby so he is also someone I have been working with for quite a while.
We also have a Botswana based producer called Yessaya coming in with a couple of beats. The project will be under Ivy League Au ‘dae Empire, they are doing the international distribution.
EN: How many accolades do you have?
CM: I have more than 15 awards and almost 25 nominations, and the notable ones being an All Africa Music Award (AFRIMA), I am the first and only female to win that award in Zimbabwe in the category of the Best Female Artiste in Southern Africa.
I have the ZNCC award for being the winner in the Arts and Culture category for the Women in Enterprise Awards 2017. I am very proud of that award because for the first time ZNCC was acknowledging artistes as entrepreneurs which is what I feel Zimbabweans haven’t managed to do, to endorse music as a business.
And being awarded the best music business woman for me is a huge honour because sometimes people do not measure your success in music with the amount of money that you would have made, which is the primary reason for being an entertainer, to make money.
I have also won business accolades like young business woman of the year at Zimbabwe Business Awards a few years ago.
I also have nine NAMA nominations and five ZIMA nominations and no wins yet, but who knows the future? No one is safe.
EN: How have you managed to be consistent in the music industry?
CM: I have been very consistent, been working on music since 2004 and started releasing in 2005 and haven’t stopped ever since.
I am passionate about it and I guess the goal has not yet been attained but most of all I have amazing fans who urge me on and a good management team that urges me on, so it’s been an amazing journey and I am motivated to keep going.
EN: Most of the female artistes that started in the urban grooves movement have disappeared on the scene, how do you feel with the progress you are making?
CM: The progress that we have been making should not be compared to who was doing what and who has decided to stop or who is no longer relevant. It’s a team effort for me to be here.
I am not sure I like it when people say most of the female artistes you started with in the urban grooves movement are no longer there.
Not being there is a choice, maybe they don’t want to do music anymore, maybe they are doing other things in their lives and it’s not a crime for anyone to stop.
If they want to stop it is okay for them to have stopped, and every product has a life cycle so artistes will not be giving you the same amount of music forever, even I won’t be doing that forever.
I just want to say I am about my business and what I am doing and what I want to achieve. Some would have already achieved what they were aiming for.
It’s okay for them to stop, and I wish the people would embrace that and not say such an artiste is now a spent force. Let’s celebrate what they have achieved and how they have opened up doors for the younger ones that are up there.
EN: When are you intending to retire from music?
CM: I do not intend to retire anytime soon.
I could retire when my fans say it’s enough, as long as my fans out there want the music, the music must go on.
EN: Tell me about your future in the music industry?
The future in music is limitless, I do not want to limit myself to say I want to achieve this, I want to see where music takes me, my mind is very open to opportunities and eventualities so I just want to live this journey and take it a day at a time. Wherever I end up is where I am supposed to be.
EN: What is your aim in your music career?
CM: My music career has always been to entertain my fans and to say something, so as long as I am entertaining my fans I am saying something, I am happy.
EN: What challenges have you/are you facing in music?
I do not want to talk about challenges because everyone is facing challenges. So I do not want to talk about piracy and stuff.
I think the major obstacle we are facing is the whole country has not yet come to the party when it comes to the value of art, I think we just need to give value its position in the society, economy, lives – people cannot live without music.
Our society has not yet given music its place and influence in the community, its making our industry not to grow.
Music is not like an extracurricular activity that is ventured into by people who failed in school or failures but it is a full time profession. Until society’s mindset changes, Zimbabwe music is not going to thrive the way it is supposed to be.
EN: Which artiste do you admire locally and why?
CM: My music hero remains Simon “Chopper” Chimbetu, I admired him, I admired the way he wrote, the way he was able to churn out hit songs over decades effortlessly, and he is one of the best song writers I have ever come across.
I loved the way he created his music, I loved his melodies and creativity. May his soul rest in peace, he remains one of my favorite artiste of all time locally.
EN: What about your love life? Are you married? Do you have Kids? How is it? Can you share?
CM: I am dating, I do not have kids, not married. And I will not share more on that.
EN: How do you spend your week?
CM: Normally I am very busy at my shop located in the capital – Cindy’s Fashion Corner. (I spend the) Whole day at shop, or rehearsing or in studio recording a song or an advert.
EN: How have you managed to maintain your body to stay young?
CM: I have maintained by body by eating well. I do manage what I eat as well as exercise. I do indulge in my favorite food being pizza and chocolate but I have learnt to govern myself like taking pizza once a week. I am still struggling with governing the chocolate but I am working on it.
EN: How do you handle men that come after you, since you are single and attractive?
CM: Every woman has a coping mechanism when it comes to men who come after them. I just take it as a compliment and communicate my interest or lack of in a polite manner.
EN: What is your worst moment in life?
CM: No worst moment yet in my life. I think I have been blessed.
EN: How many boyfriends have you had since you started dating?
CM: I have had a handful of boyfriends I think, that’s all I can say, but I haven’t dated that much.
EN: Any sport you are interested in?
CM: Growing up I loved sport, I loved sprinting, was involved in long jump, I did a bit of high jump, threw the discus and I played first team basketball at school.
I tried to swim here and there but I was not the best and I tried to play tennis and I was okay with it.
EN: What is it that you love doing the most?
CM: I love to just chill and read a good book or watch a really good movie or hang out with my friends and talk about fashion and make up.
EN: Thank you for your time.
CM: It is my pleasure, I enjoyed the interview.