Hope Masike Biography|Background, Music Career, Albums, Awards, Literary Works, Teaching & Advocacy
Hope Masike is a multi-talented Zimbabwean Afro-fusion artist known for her prowess as a singer-songwriter, mbira player, dancer, fine artist, and advocate.
Her captivating voice, mesmerizing mbira playing, and her role in popularizing modern mbira music have left an indelible mark on the music industry.
Early Life and Background
Born on September 9, 1984, Hope Masike hails from Musana in Bindura, Zimbabwe. She attended the Zimbabwe College of Music (ZCM), where she honed her musical skills and graduated as a versatile artist, excelling in various forms of artistry.
Musical Career Beginnings
Hope Masike’s musical journey began during her time at the Zimbabwe College of Music (ZCM) around 2006 when she formed an Afro-jazz band. The band, consisting of talented musicians like Ben Kabasa, Dunmore Sengere, and Tarisai Gweje, showcased her captivating vocal skills and modern mbira playing. Despite the band’s eventual disbandment due to members relocating, it marked the start of Hope Masike’s rise to prominence in the music scene.
Book Cafe and Rising Stardom
In 2007, while still at the ZCM, Masike formed another band called Kakuwe, which continued to showcase her musical prowess. However, her true breakthrough came when she was asked to take over the Tuesday nights at Book Cafe, following in the footsteps of the renowned musician Chiwoniso Maraire. This opportunity allowed her to connect with a growing support base and gain recognition.
The Princess of Mbira
Hope Masike’s exceptional vocal abilities, playful and experimental style, and mastery of modern mbira playing earned her the title “The Princess of Mbira.” This recognition solidified her position as a leading figure in the contemporary Mbira music scene.
International Collaborations and Performances
Hope Masike’s artistic reach extended beyond Zimbabwe’s borders, as she collaborated with renowned musicians from different African countries and beyond. Her collaborations included artists like Anniken Paulsen (Norway), Ibou Cissokh (Senegal), Sheila Massungue (Mozambique), Anthony Maina (Kenya), French DJ Oil, and Bokani Dyer (South Africa).
Her outstanding performances have graced numerous festivals and events, including the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) in 2015, where she performed alongside Salif Keita. Additionally, she enthralled audiences at festivals such as the Bergen Afro Arts Festival in Norway, the Exile Festival in Serbia, the Umoja Cultural Flying Carpet in Mozambique and South Africa, the A2GO Festival in Mozambique, and the Bushfire Festival in Swaziland.
- Hope (2009)
- Mbira, Love & Chocolate (2012)
- The Exorcism of a Spinster (Riverboat Records/ World Music Network, 2019)
- The Village (2013)
- Monoswezi Yenga (2015)
- A Je (2017)
- Kwira Gomo (2016)
- Ndinewe (Blah Ent, 2016)
- Idenga (Riverboat Records/ World Music Network, 2019)
- Boombap Idiophonics with DJ Oil and The Monkey Nuts (2015)
- Zenzele” with Mahube (2018)
In 2013, Hope Masike’s talent and contributions to music were honoured when she became the first winner in the Outstanding Female Musician category at the Zimbabwe National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA). Her continued excellence earned her subsequent nominations in the same category at NAMA in 2016, as well as a nomination for Best Video at the KORA Awards.
Hope Masike’s creativity extends beyond music, as she is also a skilled painter and fashion designer. Her diverse artistic endeavours demonstrate her ability to blend various forms of expression into her work.
Aside from her musical and artistic achievements, Hope Masike has delved into literature, publishing her poetry anthology titled ‘Dzevabvazera‘ in 2022. The anthology addresses mature themes and serves as another outlet for her artistic expression.
She also recently published 2 more poetry books titled ‘Die With Me‘ and ‘Ask Me Again’
Advocacy and Teaching
Beyond her musical pursuits, Hope Masike is an advocate for African music and culture. She has taught African music in Norway, sharing her knowledge and passion with students and audiences from diverse backgrounds.