A Moment With… Hope Masike
3mob.com caught up with mbira songstress Hope Masike from her base in Norway and shared a moment.
Hope is a mbira player, percussionist, dancer, vocalist, songwriter, fashion designer, fine artist, advocate…! Commonly known for her sizzling voice and mesmerising mbira playing, this girl dresses mbira in a new cloak.
She started practising music professionally in 2007. She fronts her five member youthful band Kakuwe which she founded in 2008. Together with her band she released her debut album, “Hope“ in 2009.
Now based in Norway for a while, Masike is bringing the audience her tasty modern sound of mbira with her solo, acoustic mbira. She is collaborating with numerous international artist. She is also teaching African music at the Culture School of Fredrikstad.
She is scheduled to travel on tour to Spain, France, US, Canada and Sweden. Look out for her second album due for release soon.
What is your government name?
Totally Hope! The name is just perfect enough on it`s own. Hope!
What do you like to call yourself?
What I am called. My full name is Ruvimbo Hope Masike. I have a friend who likes calling me Masike….People from school know me as Ruvimbo, new people now call me Hope. So what do I like calling myself, Ruvimbo Hope Masike.
What is the most ridiculous nickname you have ever had?
Two actually. When I was younger I was called Bonny( apparently) after our first president Canaan Sodindo Banana, because of “mhanza”`.I hated it and it made me very conscious of my forehead in a bad way. But you know how they say if you hate a nickname it will get very popular. I pretended to like it and as we grew older at home ,naturally the nickname faded away.
Then when I went for Umoja in Norway in 2007, I accidentally got left behind in a ferry, admiring the nothingness of the cold air. When I got out of the ferry, our bus was already going. So a frantic me ran after the bus. I made it but unfortunately I also earned myself the nickname – Ferristors, aka Ferri! Ain`t that ridiculous! Like I was the first one to get left by a bus.
Which side of the bed do you sleep on?
Any! I change even the pillow side too. As long as I am still on the bed. See, I am a very fair person, I don`t take sides.
Are you left-handed or right-handed?
Correct-handed.What`s with you and sides?
What is your favourite instrument?
… that’s hard. It`s like asking me what I like more, meat or nyama. If any instrument is played by a person it chose or called, it can sound magical. Anyways, i`d say the voice, because for me, it`s the most expressive and the beginning of it all. If you can talk, you can sing!
What is the first song you fell in love with?
Who remembers that? Maybe my mum would know what I nodded to the most when I was young….Let`s see…, I will have to get back to you on that one.
Best concert you have ever been to?
Well, I have loved Salif Keita for such a long time, so just finally managing to watch him at Hifa, in the middle part of the first row made the experience heavenly. I could see his shoes, I could see a freckle on his skin. That’s how close I was. Even though I realised that the young man I had given such a cold shoulder to just hours ago in the park, was actually Salif’s bassist,(and all of a sudden he now looked very handsome on stage), still that was my most memorable concert so far.
Of the songs you have written which one is your favourite?
Ndinewe, ain`t no doubt there! Ndinewe, Ndinokunda, ndinokura, narinhi! Beautiful, just beautiful!
How do you deal with groupies?
Am not sure yet because so far I told myself they are not “groupies”`, they are friends! So many times I find myself over working, if you know what I mean!? Maybe when they are too many I will start looking at then differently.
How excited were you when the first groupie hollered at you?
I find myself getting very embarrassed most of the times actually. I guess I don`t know just as yet how to handle it. I mean, you gotta admit, it`s super strange!!!!!! So first time…funny as it may sound, I ran away, disappeared into thin air, ran for my life.I did it in a very diplomatic way of course.
Where is Zimbabwean music going?
Far I tell you. We have gone this far already with very minimal, if any, exposure to the actual international competition and markets. Plus with a lot of talk such as, ”Maartist mune one problem…”, ”Vasikana vemagitare havaite, havarooreke…”, ”Maartist hamusi organised…”, blah, blah, blah. I can only imagine what will happen the day we find ourselves with fast Internet, efficient transportation, enough food to actually get us worrying about something different for a change, effective Zesa, affordable instruments and music lessons, a working music industry, a working country as a whole and all that jazz. I can only imagine what will happen the day we finally begin begin to be good enough for our own people at home so much that vanenge vakudadaonesu semacultural ambassador avo.Takusanzi ava vanoita zveart art, or ava vanoita zvemagitare, kana kunzi anoimba negroup rake….!
Where I am, children as young as six play impressive violin. The society here respects and encourages both the music and the musician. How is that? They have managed to feed their cultural sector the same way we have managed to feed poverty! We have amazing music to offer this world, make reasonable money while at it, and make Zimbabwe proud. Soon we shall prove how the arts are also a worthwhile investment at a national level. That’s where our music is going. What was your question again….?
Oh yeah, so the future of Zimbabwe music looks bright if you ask me, of cause, with a lot of pushing.
Where is your music going?
It is going to turn left by the traffic lights, then it will go straight for a while, go round the round about then turn left right here, from there…!
To be honest Larry, only God knows where my music is going, because in actual essence, it is His music. What I know for sure is that , as Dale Carnegie said, “I don`t want to dream of a rose garden over the horizon, failing to see the beauty of my own garden”. I want to dress our music in a new cloak that sells it so well while at the same time, even most importantly, I want to remember and maintain my roots! You know how Bob Marley says a person without that is like a tree without roots
What do you want to be remembered for?
The old paths, just dressed differently. Putting forth the voice of Wisdom, rather than silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold. And a great smile!!!!!!!!!