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#SheCreatesMarch| Sista Flame, Queen of Jingles And A Fixture in Zimbabwe’s Music Scene

Trailing back to her debut on the scene, one can clearly see her growth both as a person and a singer/songwriter through her music.

She is distinguished for her distinctive deep soulful, emotional and captivating vocals, which make her melodies beautiful and touching.

She has exceptional, exciting and breath-taking writing skills.

Versatile in her delivery with the nonpareil ability to dabble in all genres with a splash, she can craft dreamy, happy/uplifting vibes, even so, moody tales, allowing you to form your own interpretation or simply inviting you to dance, lie back and float in the warm ecstasy of it all.

Yet in her twenty-three years of gleaming, her story has been told many a time, but her contribution to the industry is yet to be certified by gatekeepers.

Perchance there is more to what has been written already or maybe the kneejerk pieces we have come across over the last two decades are all that’s there for her.

Still and all, one fact is conspicuous; Sista Flame is a perpetual fixture on the Zimbabwean music scene.

Born Fortunate Matenga in Bulawayo, the talented musician has contributed massively to the country’s music scene with humbleness, earnestness and brilliance that is sometimes lacking in the entertainment industry.

Trailing back to her debut on the scene, one can clearly see her growth both as a person and a singer/songwriter through her music.

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It all started during her teens when she joined a community group called B.U.W.A.C. that was doing modelling, dance, drama and music at the time.

And because you miss 100 proportions of the shots you don’t take, Sista Flame developed her entanglement to music, and she formed the Afrobase group with friends.

In 1999, the stars aligned in her universe and she met Albert Nyathi, who assimilated her into the Imbongi ensemble as a backing vocalist.

Their honeymoon was short-lived. Later that year, she scored a BV gig with The Storm, a band fronted by late legends Andy Brown and Chiwoniso Maraire.

Sista Flame would go on to rack up her debut recording career with the More Fire Crew, a patriotic combo that recorded several Third Chimurenga campaigning songs during a time when the government pursued a fast track land redistribution programme.

Popping and ambitious as she was, Sis was never snug being “the other girl” in a group that housed juggernaut male musicians such as Keith Ferguson, Andy Brown and Issac Chirwa. So, when she got an elbow room, she merged with Plaxedis Wenyika, Ivy Kombo and the late Jackie Madondo as Ruvhuvhuto Sisters, a national treasure quartet that will go down in history for its tremendous endowment to the tourism sector. Together, they released two bops, “Malaika” and “Come to Victoria Falls” to colossal success.

Soloing, Sista Flame dropped her ten-track debut album “The Road”, which had hit tracks “The One” and “Muzukuru” affectionately known by her fans as “Wona Ngoro”.

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Six years later, she reinvented and came back with her sophomore “The Flame of House”, gifting her FlamitesNgubani”, which came with equally dope visuals.

In 2016 she caught yet another transonic ride and recorded her reggae mixtape called “Love Sweat Fears” out this year.

In recent years, she has recorded her 4th studio album “Moto”, dropped a gospel single “Ngiyabonga” with Jdot and Dj Tamuka, and the Mono Mukundu-assisted “Got This Feeling”. The videos for both singles have received airplay on Channel O and Trace Africa.

As well, Sista Flame has become the voice for a plethora of jingles and commercials through her multimedia production house, Megerall Investments that she has literally been crowned the “Queen of Jingles.” One of the recent jingles she wrote and performed is the ubiquitous COVID-19 awareness jingle “Toyi kunda/Soyinqoba iCorona” which has been playing back to back across local radio stations.

She is also trilingual (English Shona and Ndebele) and has scored transaction gigs on the James Cameron-produced film of female anti poachers “Akashinga” and the Oprah Winfrey-produced documentary of the “Friendship Bench”, grandmothers who are making a huge impact on societies.

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Now, adorned with over two decades of learning from a myriad of industry insiders and experts, Sista Flame is also branching into audiovisual production as well as event management.

Editorial: This month, #enthuse, through our #SheCreatesMarch feature series, celebrates the work of thirty-one Zimbabwean women creatives, the contributions and achievements they have made throughout history, culture, and society. The idea is to elevate visibility for commercial projects and commissions. Discover the work of avant-garde creatives who embody the spirit of the month by uplifting and empowering women. Representing diverse backgrounds and disciplines, these women share one thing in common: their dedication to supporting women and sharing their stories through art and creativity. We are thrilled to share their work. And this month is about them. #ChooseToChallenge

ImChris Charamba

Head Storyteller/Critic at Large in Culture at Enthuse Afrika

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