Takura Shonhai, a popular hip-hop performer famed for hits Mai Mwana, Zvemoyo and Noise, recently joined forces with Old Mutual for their singing competition, Old Mutual Amazing Voices that is showing on Zambezi Magic on Sundays. Together with Selmor Mtukudzi and Tembalami, they were given the task to identify the most suitable candidates to take part in the show which is now in its final stages.
Reflecting on this experience, Takura said: “My experience was great because it was all very professional and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed meeting all the entrants and giving off my experience in pursuit of their success. I actually learnt a lot too.”
Takura said he believes it is important for Zimbabweans to take up opportunities that come from MultiChoice platforms such as this singing competition. On the competition, Zimbabwe is being represented by pop group Family Voices, gospel group Focus Acappela which both hail from Bulawayo and RnB group Rema from Harare.
“It (singing competition) opens doors for you and helps you improve. It’s something that opens our minds and we learn from it. I’m confident it’ll also help our music industry to grow,” Takura said.
Other than the up-and-coming artistes benefiting, Takura said he felt Zimbabweans generally could learn a lot from such reality shows.
“Reality TV is something that people love to watch as we’ve seen with Idols and similar shows. They give hope and inspiration because they are real.
“I’ve been in competitions such as Idols before and when you see someone else go in for it, you say: ‘I can do it’. It gives young people hope that they can go out and pursue their dreams.”
Not content with being a performer, Takura said he sees himself as a mentor for others.
“I’ve been through a lot in life. I left home when I was 14 years old to go to South Africa on my own. I know things when it comes to music. I’m a person who learns a lot and I learn a lot from everyone I come into contact with, whether they are in the industry or not.
“I’m one of those people who love mentoring up-and-coming artistes and performers, even if it’s nothing to do with music. I love teaching and I hope anyone listening to my music will find it motivational. I know I must work hard.”
Turning to his career Takura, who this year scooped the Zimbabwe Music Awards best hip hop artiste award, said he is working on his Relationship Goals 2 album.
“We did the first one two years ago, the one with the song Mai Mwana. Now, we’re doing a second one and it’s going to have five songs. It’s going be a whole new side of me, something that people have never even imagined. So I’m pretty excited about it.”
On his first album titled Stripped, Takura talked about life and what he goes through on a day-to-day basis.
“When I first came into the industry, I was introducing myself. Now I’m talking about my past and about where I’m trying to go. I’d like to do Stripped 2 as most of my music is about real things that go on in my life, love or whatever.”
While many regard him as a hip hop artiste, Takura said he regards himself as versatile as he spreads his styles.
“I don’t like to box myself hence I’ve done hip-hop, Afro-pop and Afro-swing, a sound that is almost like dancehall. I feel I can do anything. Right now I’m working on different projects with very different sounds from everything that people have heard before. So I’m just a versatile artiste who is not afraid to try new things and learn.”