By Kenneth Matimaire – ZIMBABWE – After spending nearly a year in Norway, Zimbabwe’s afro-fusion songbird is expected to reunite with her band, friends and family by end of December, this year.
Currently based in Fredrikstad, Hope has been teaching music and of course doing what she adores most – performing in and around Norway.
After her departure on January 4, Hope has been working as an exchange participant for a programme called Fredskopset whose main objective is to improve global justice through exchanges and impartation of knowledge and skills.
Hope has also been involved with the cultural exchange programme ‘Umoja’ encompassing Norway, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
In an exclusive interview with Shout-Africa, Hope said even though it was difficult dwelling oceans away from home, her trip has been refreshing, educative and growth enhancing.
“It’s always difficult on many levels but it is also always very refreshing, educative and growth enhancing. It’s always good to learn to be away from the comfort zone every now and then,” she said adding that her stay has been full of “great” moments.
Said the Mbira (Thump Piano) Princess, “There were many great experiences. Some were professional experiences, some social …Speaking from the top of my head, I would say it was lovely meeting and interacting with Norwegian teenagers in class. Of course on stage I had many special moments too.”
She added, “I am lucky because I actually love Norwegian food and their eating habits. Most of them eat healthily seemingly, effortlessly. So it was nice also taking tea or coffee without sugar, taking less salt, drinking more water instead of drinks, eating a lot of natural salads and so forth. It was torture at times but very enjoyable at times also.”
The Kakuwe bandleader said she will embark on a world tour followed by a farewell show in Norway before making her way back to Zimbabwe.
Hope will be performing at the Mannenberg on November 24, while on tour with a band called Monoswezi. Then she will also perform in Mozambique and South Africa before her farewell concert in Norway as a solo act on December 3 and then the final show with Monoswezi on December 18.
Even though her schedule looks tight, she is hopeful that, “By end of December I will be back home for good. I will make it for Christmas.”
In 2009 she released her debut self titled album (HOPE), which quickly placed her on an artistic journey of wonders. Hence, the mere mentioning of her second album, which she promised to be out soon, will certainly cause shivers right down the spine of other female artistes such as Rute Mbangwa, Rina Mushonga, Edith WeUtonga amongst others.
Before making her way into the music industry, Hope studied fine art and also took up fashion design courses. Under her own label ‘Idi’ (Truth) she has designed stagewear for some of Zimbabwe’s best loved female artists, though she is now designing for her own group.