In Conversation with: uBu
Meet uBu, a self confessed African Queen, aspiring entrepreneur and upcoming Zimbabwean artist. She is a member of the newly formed collective, VERYUS and the founder of 1807 Events.
Who is uBu?
I don’t think my life story fits in a nutshell but let me try. Natasha Nobuhle Nyoni born in the year 1992 to Mahlathini and Ottilia Nyoni who are both late. I am the last born in a family of two and I was raised by many from grandparents to aunts and uncles. I went to about 7 primary schools in total, I can’t remember which is which to be honest. Did my high school at Ladylove High School and Mount Pleasant, I went on to study Fashion design at ZDECO were I graduated top of the class with a certificate. That’s a journey I haven’t finished. From then my life has been a whirlwind of jobs and entrepreneur experiments, mostly fails. I was born a creative and I remain a creative so here I am founder of 1807 Events and upcoming artist .
Where did your passion for music come from?
My passion for music started when I was in primary school, I was in the choir and never did I ever have a dull moment there. My spare time at home was spent watching music videos and drowning in the melodies. At one point we were too many at home so getting the remote was hard to get to, I would burn cd’s so I could get my dose. I find peace when I am listening to music.
Where do you see yourself in music, what type of artist are you?
I am that artist that isn’t bound by a genre, very experimental and creative. I see my music speaking to masses, gracing big stages and making a difference in communities. My passion overlaps into inspiring those that are as hungry and passionate about music.
Which three people would you say inspire you in your career and in life?
Just three, wow! Ok, no lie number one on my list is Zimbabwean Hip Hop artist Sharky. I can not begin to explain how he has played a role in my decision to become a recording artist. His entire life story and the things he has achieved thus far at such a young age, I stand in awe. I absolutely love his originality and how he has no fear to say things as they are his creativity on stage is not questionable. Lira steps in second. That woman has left elements in me that I can not uproot. I love how serene and gracious she is. Her music is my serenades my ears every Sunday. Thirdly Busiswa, the confidence that lives in that woman, she needs to lend me some! I love her for her confidence and daily she reminds me that I can be who I want to be. No one can stop me!
What can we expect from you in 2017?
2017 is a year for establishment for me. I look to feed the people with good music, and no doubt the music is coming. I fear jinxing things so let’s leave it at that.
What is your greatest achievement in life so far?
1807 Events is my baby and I am so proud of it even though it hasn’t gone to the lengths I would want it to. The day I will mark as an achievement is when we hosted the launch of Soko Matemai album, the numbers told a great story of the work put in to have a successful event. The hash tag lives on.
Who are the rocks in your life?
God, there is no better rock than God. God is my refuge, my strength. Then comes the woman I call mother, the woman who made me the woman I am. You don’t even understand, when I hit rock bottom I know where to run for comfort. My mother has had my back for the longest of times, I love her way too much. This is why my first single is a dedication to her. I have support from people close to me, a family that God blessed me with. I can’t mention them all but they know themselves. They had me realise that family isn’t blood, its pure love!
Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?
Every song has a piece of me in it. My life experiences and the experiences of those close to me draw so much in me.
What is your favourite song and why?
This is another hard question. Wow, it has to be Tehn Diamond, Be Amazing. This song gives me strength to wake up and work even when I don’t want to. Reminds me that I will never be amazing if I don’t believe it or work for it.If not for music, what else would you be doing?
Life permitting I would be doing fashion design or event management. I stay in the creative lane! I shall not stray away.
What do you hope people take away from listening to your music?
Hope for a better day and strength to get up and fight for their dreams. We all have purposes and stories to tell but life fights us, I want the music to lift their spirits and keep them going. My story is a testimony that lies in the music, it has to birth more testimonies.
Given the opportunity which artists would you like to work with?
I stay dreaming big, I want a track with Lira that right there will be a milestone for me. Another artist would be Mr Eazi, I know I know but I am in love with that man’s sound. You can never miss it, you just know! In Zimbabwe it’s the legend himself , Oliver Mtukudzi. My mother had me jamming to his music from the time I was 9. I love him. The last one is Hugh Masekela, that jazz sound takes me away. I am dying to meet this legend.
Who is your favourite Zim artist and why?
This question is way too hard. It is way way too hard. I have many favourites but for now let’s go with Sharky because that album has too many of my current favourites.
What keeps you motivated during the low moments in your life?
I run back to my prayer closet. The promises of God remind me that all is well and all is possible with the almighty.
Where in the world would you like to perform and why?
I could swear when you wrote these questions your aim was to get me all kinds of hyped. Believe it or not my heart lies with touring Africa before any other place. I love my people way too much. My reason being my sounds belongs to Africa, I'm telling an Africa story for the African child.
What are you most fond of about being Zimbabwean?
Zimbabwe is affiliated with struggle but it’s that very same struggle that has bred my character and strength. I love how the daily struggles get us thinking outside the box and gearing us into survival mode. You can’t live on a routine in Zimbabwe things change and you got to change.
Describe a typical day in your life.
Prayer, hustle, face hurdles, pray, sleep.
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
God, I am just an empty vessel without him.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learnt in your career and life so far, that you wished you knew sooner?
Trust nobody, I repeat trust nobody. Your dream is your own, your hustle is your own. If God equipped you run the race, you will meet the right people along the way. Stop trying to be the gift match maker!
How can people access your music or get in touch with you?
Have you got any advice for other young artists who are starting out and trying to make their mark?
Only God knows your purpose, only HE says yes or no. Only God , as long as you know that then you can never go wrong. If he gifts you then he can carry you through the storms of fulfilling your purpose.