The Artistry of Makhadzi.

Makhadzi asi wa vho “rwine” because we stake claim to her or her success but rather because she is a representation of who we are. A patron for the voiceless. She is not ours, she is for us.

The initial draft of this post was on aftermath of her October 2020 album release titled, Kokovha. At the time I had listened to and re-listened to the album several times and felt it had enough layers to it for me to breakdown and pen an album review of sorts. That did not happen. For some reason I could not bring myself to write the post, I do however have three suspicions that may act as possible explanations. Here goes, I suspect I was overwhelmed, I suspect I subconsciously intended to hinder the clout that surrounded both the artist and album at the time, and finally less a suspicion but more an admission, I just don’t write reviews – or atleast did not at the time – my impulse is likely to have been from a built up admiration and less so about the album in question.

Over a year later, Makhadzi’s star keeps shining brighter, the music continues to prevail and the themes I had intended to write the review around are in continued display. So scrap the review, let’s pay tribute:

“Ndonewa dzina ndalithonifha ngauri asidzina fhedzi! Ndatambula nditshigonya na dzithavha nalo heli dzina ngauri ndila ndeme. Zwivhuya zwo mpfanela ngauri ndiakondelela…”

A story of overcoming and resilience is one often told and one many often use as source of inspiration and perseverance. Makhadzi’s is a story of resilience, her constant urge to carry on regardless of any barriers – both systematic and socially imposed – placed before her is one to admire and learn from, be it from empathy or not. Her active patriotism can best be told by the song Connection on her 2021 album, African Queen. As cheesy or unconventional as the lyrical delivery on the song may be, it describes a character who is not content with the relative level of success she has reached moreover having gone through all she had gone through to reach that level, it describes a character with a longing to bring us all along on this road to success, thanks to the newly found “connections” which she is willing to use to our advantage.

“Ni teya u luvheledza nitshi toda zwine na funa shangoni… ni teya u rabeledza”

Moya Uri Yes ft. Prince Benza (Kokovha)

Makhadzi uses her art as a tool. She uses it as a tool to encourage matriarchy and the breaking down of gender roles and stereotypes as heard on the song Red Card like many others before it. Her ability similar to that of the late great Dorothy Masuka to bring about issues and make one think deeply while still getting them on their feet with upbeat tempos and beats is commendable. This tool she has equipped herself with she also uses to encourage, long for and express Love. Makhadzi’s music represents the embodiment of true self and the showing of vulnerability.

“… Athipfi MAKHADZI wa mukene, fhedzi ndipfi Makhadzi wa lushaka lwothe lwa AFRIKA.”

Makhadzi, through her acts and music seems to have a great understanding of a higher calling or purpose which is channeled towards the act of unifying, often making reference to her name and the role and responsibilities such a name would traditionally entail. When she is not using the Salungano phrase which can be interpreted as a call to gather amid commencement of storytelling, she is featuring a great variety of artists from different genres, backgrounds and perceived “classes” while also showing and testing her own bilingualism. All this in addition to her Heritage day gesture of having outfits that represented nine different South African sub-cultures can be seen as unifying acts. In simple terms, Makhadzi ndi washu rothe!

“Vhakoma kha vha ambe na vhalanda, Khosi a I nga vhi Khosi arali ya vha Khosi I si na Vhakoma”

Gidimani ft Cassper Nyovest & Mr Brown (African Queen)

A standout trait of arts is the ability to provide artists with a platform to convey whatever they wish to or deem fit. Makhadzi uses her music and the platform afforded to her through it to address socio-economic issues and normal everyday conundrums people go through. Through her music she often influences and advices where possible and does so without sugercoating, Albert a tshi delela udo vhudziwa zwoto ralo.

Makhadzi is a social advocate who calls out the ill intentioned and unjust, aka vho “Madhakutswa”. She is a child of the arts and has shown a willingness to grow in it without conforming to style or genre boundaries. On her shoulders she carries pride, pride for her journey, pride for her success and pride for her people. Her artistry is genuine and brings joy to its audiences. She encourages rumination and the pure expression of self. Ndi Makhadzi wa vho rine and in her we are well led. Continue striving!

“Makhadzi ndi star gurl weeh!” ~ Gomi Makuya