Sunday, 25 January 2015

Up close and personal with Ba Shupi

By Andrew Moyo
He burst onto the music scene in 2011 with a unique style that fused a traditional and urban feel. Many thought he would, like several before him, fail to last the distance – but by hook or crook, he remains relevant.

The history of urban music aka urban grooves, a genre which was popularised at the turn of the new millennium, would not be complete without mentioning Ba Shupi aka Peace Ndlovu.

Over the years the talented artiste has gone on to be popular for his ability to pen explosive choruses, with most of the songs he has featured on winning numerous awards.

They say he is the best collaborator of his generation.

Some of the hits that went on to dominate radio stations, thanks to his signature choruses, include “Godo”, “Tezvara Varamba”, “Ma1’ and “Mapena”, to mention just a few.

On December 13, 2014 Ba Shupi was in the limelight not for his musical prowess or scandal, as is usually the case with Zimbabwean celebrities, but for tying the knot with the love of his life Wadzanai Gumbo.

Although it is still early days to start wondering if the marriage will stand the test of time, so far things look good, at least from the outside the couple seems be functioning as a unit both at home and at work.

The newly-weds recently opened up to The Sunday Mail Leisure and spoke about their life at work and on the home front from the moment they met to the present.

Wadzi, as she is affectionately known, is grateful to top arts festival, Hifa, as she says it was at this festival that she met, for the first time, her singer husband.

“We met at Hifa in 2003 or is it 2002, I am no longer sure about the exact year,” said Wadzi.

“He was still doing theatre those days and was performing a play called ‘Sounds of Silence’ with a Masvingo-based theatre company.”

It did not take time for Ba Shupi to make up his mind and within three months he had proposed.

“We dated for three years but I am pretty sure he asked me to be his wife three months into the relationship,” she confessed, without saying whether she agreed then or deliberately made him wait.

Whatever the case, today the couple is raising a 14-year-old son that Wadzi sired with another man and Ba Shupi says that their marriage is stable and has positively affected his lifestyle.

“Our marriage is stable, lovely and has cemented our relationship on a professional and personal level,” said Ba Shupi.

Is being Ba Shupi’s personal assistant Wadzi’s only job? With music being a tricky business, which does not generate much income in some instances, how does this couple, which lives in Mt Pleasant, survive?

“My wife is a qualified and efficient personal assistant, but besides that she is also a very good florist,” said Ba Shupi. Adding, “That is beside the point though, I know that there are some artistes who are struggling but at the present moment I am doing well and music is my family’s main source of income.”

Wadzi professes love not only for her husband but for working as his personal assistant as well. She says she is not even thinking about pursuing any other profession at the moment. The couple say they cherish every moment they are together.
Love birds . .. Ba Shupi and wife Wadzi
Both of them said they really enjoy working and travelling together and are at their “worst” when they are unable to reach each other.

“We love everything about each other,” said Wadzi, who described both her husband and son Leon, as blessings from God.

“Our son is our biggest blessing, children are gifts from God and we are waiting for more gifts,” Wadzi said.

Wadzi went on to say that as Ba Shupi’s personal assistant, she is able to keep a close eye on her prize.

“As a wife and personal assistant I am fully aware of anything that is going on at any given time,” she said.

With stardom comes temptation in different forms with the groupie phenomenon topping the list.

She said groupies did not concern her as they come with the territory her husband works in.

“We have learnt to separate our lives. When we step out of the house, Ba Shupi comes alive and becomes the celebrity, the superstar but the moment we are back home its Peace Ndlovu and that way we live a perfectly normal life,” said Wadzi.

Said Ba Shupi: “At work I’m Ba Shupi and she is my personal assistant, but at home I’m Peace Ndlovu and she is my wife. We have managed to keep those characters separately and we have never been happier.”

Wadzi said with both of them growing up in huge families, they have leant not to worry about external influences, that is, what other people think.

“We both come from huge families and are kept busy with family issues, our son and our garden.”

Ba Shupi is currently working on a new project with JJ, who was recently at the Big Brother reality show. The Sunday Mail
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