The first Zimbabwean to win a BET Award musician Shasha, real name Charmaine Shamiso Mapambiro was disowned by her parents for pursuing her music career during her early days.
She was born in Bulawayo 27 years ago, she stayed there for a bit then moved to Mutare and then Harare. Currently she’s based in South Africa.
Shasha’s parents like any other parent, especially in Zimbabwe where the arts aren’t as rewarding financially, were against the idea of her pursuing music as a career.
The parents who wanted the best for their daughter, wanted her to be a nurse instead. This forced Shasha to make a decision most never want to make as she had to choose between her parents and music career.
She moved to Harare and started staying with her aunt. She kept on pushing and started off as a receptionist then became a waiter just to try and make ends meet while pushing her music passion on the side.
This was to be the beginning of greater things to come because while performing for free to market herself in the capital, she met a CEO from a top radio station who identified her talent and linked her up with record producer, Audius Mtawarira. Mtawarira was to catapult her to fame as he honed her skill for three years before linking her up with his partners who were based in US. This was after realising that she was now a complete product. The partners recommended that she goes to South Africa where they linked her up with producers there.
She travelled to South Africa and as fate would have it, she was ferried by a Zimbabwean cab driver.
They engaged in a conversation on their way to her destination and she took the opportunity to reveal that she was in SA to pursue her music career. Coincidentally, the cab driver knew one of South Africa’s finest producers, DJ Maphorisa and offered to hook her up with him. She agreed and a meeting was set up.
Upon meeting Maphorisa at his home where he has a studio in 2017, he simply asked her to sing and he was blown away by one of her ballads. Weeks later, the two were in studio and two years later, they were dropping hit after hit including a feature on Samthing Soweto’s Akulaleki, Tender Love and another feature on MFR Soul’s Love You Tonight.
But before getting down to serious business, Shasha said she did not let excitement cloud her judgement, something that saw her take her time to negotiate a contract with DJ Maphorisa as she did not want to be taken advantage of. As such, it took a year for them to agree on her contract.
Her partnership with DJ Maphorisa last year was well timed as it happened at a time that the genre he was popularising, Amapiano was sought-after and in no time, Shasha had earned herself the name Queen of Amapiano.
Other than Maphorisa, she also worked with the likes of Don Laka and Mlindo the Vocalist.
From performing for free in the early stages of her career to having a full-fledged team that comprises of a personal assistant and booking agents, Shasha now has a busy schedule as she is constantly fully booked.
That is how her life has changed.
And as people were still warming up to her sudden rise to fame and successes through the hits she has been featured on, she surprised them with the BET Awards nomination which also surprised her. She was nominated in the Best New International Act category with Rema (Nigeria) Celeste (UK), Young T and Bugsey (UK), Hatik (France) and Stacy (France)…