Plaxedes Wenyika
Plaxedes Wenyika Joka is a Zimbabwean R'n'B singer and songwriter. She is one of the pioneers of the Urban Grooves music genre. She made her debut in 2002 with the album 'Tisaparadzane' which made waves and saw the title track topping the local charts. She made history by becoming one of the few women to venture into the male-dominated music industry at that time.

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Background

Wenyika was born in a family of three daughters and her younger sister Tendai is a politician.[1] In 2004 she got married to her long time boyfriend Mika Joka who, under customary law, paid over Z$20 million as lobola. The two met at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and dated for three years prior to their marriage. The couple is blessed with two sons Daryl and Gareth.[2]

Education

Wenyika graduated with an Economics degree from the University of Zimbabwe and also holds a Management of Business Administration (MBA) degree.[3]

Music career

Wenyika who drew inspiration from her mother, started singing in the 2000s and was a benefactor of the 75% local content prescribed by the then Information Minister, Prof.Jonathan Moyo. She instantly became a household name with her first album 'Tisaparadzane' which carried sing along love songs. The album also carried the hit 'Shamwari' which featured talented Sanii Makhalima. The collaboration was arguably the best in the New Millennium. After the success of the album, she went o to release her second studio album 'Kamumanzi'. Just like the first album 'Kamumhanzi' made waves and received heavy rotation on most radio stations. During the same year, she became part of a group called 'Ruvhuvhuto Sisters'. The group was made of four talented artists, Ivy Kombo, the late Jackie Madondo and Sister Flame. The group was a government initiative and aimed at promoting national programmes . The group instantly became a favourite for many with their hit songs 'Come to Victoria Falls — Down in Zimbabwe' and 'Malaika'.[4] Wenyika then took a break from music in 2009 to concentrate on her studies and family. She also said the economic meltdown which resulted in people's failure to attend shows and also because of piracy also contributed to her departure from the music industry. She however bounced back in 2012, with the release of her fifth album, 'Brighter Day'. The album carried songs such as 'Huya ndikuratide' ad 'Love you better'. The latter has a sizzling video received airplay on Channel O.[5]

Need for Live Music

Wenyika is the brains behind the Urban Unplugged which is aimed at bringing live urban music to the people. Artists like Ngoni Kambarami and Sanii Makhalima have performed on this plartform. The concept behind holding such shows is it to provide quality performances and different performing artistes on one stage using one band for the enjoyment of the audiences.[6]

Awards

She was in 2012 nominated for a National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) in the Outstanding Female Musician category.[7] However the awards went to Hope Masike. In the same year she was honored, taking the first price at the inaugural Women in Enterprise Conference and Awards. This was for her immense contribution to Zimbabwe’s arts and culture sector.[8]


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References

  1. ND, Zimbabwe’s next power couple?,'Nehanda Radio', Published: 8 Jul 2013, Retrieved: 4 Apr 2014
  2. NR, Plaxedes Wenyika Quits Marketing for Music Return, 'Nehanda Radio', Published 8 Jul 2013, Retrieved: 4 Apr 2014
  3. Bridget Mananavire, Plaxedes Wenyika aims higher, Daily News, Published: 7 Jul 2014, Retrieved: 26 Jan 2015
  4. Jonathan Mbiriyamveka , ‘Ruvhuvhuto Sisters reunion looks slim’, 'Herald', Published: 4 Sep 2013, Retrieved, 4 Apr 2014
  5. Jonathan Mbiriyamveka, Plaxedes gears for ‘Urban Unplugged’, Published: 9 Apr 2013, Retrieved: 4 Apr 2014
  6. Jonathan Mbiriyamveka, ‘Urban Unplugged’ a thriller, 'Herald', Published: 16 Apr 2013, Retrieved: 4 Apr 2014
  7. Entertainment Reporter, Battlelines drawn at NAMA, 'NewsDay', Published: 7 Feb 2013, Retrieved: 4 Apr 2014
  8. Plaxedes, Cindy honoured, Daily News, Published: Novemeber 7, 2013, Retrieved: July 1, 2014