Hope Masike - The Person!

Music | By Hope Masike, Musician | 04 April 2013
PHOTO: © Baynham Goredema

We are here in the court yard of the Harare Polytechnic Graphics Art department where we will be talking with the very talented, Hope Masike of Kakuwe fame. We were fortunate enough to get Hope to open up to us and give us her views about herself her music and society! This is the first installment of a three part interview.

POVO: Tell us a bit about yourself?
Hope: I grew up in a family of 9 children- 2 boys and 7 girls. The spirit of sharing was very important as was working hard because we had to look after each other together. Fortunately, I am the last born who is very well educated by the way! (Giggles). I have been doing a lot of fine art and music studies. Besides the music, I have been doing fashion designing and fine art specializing in textiles.

POVO: Did you formally study music?
Hope: Yah! I spent TWO years studying Ethnomusicology ("the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts.") at the Zimbabwe College of Music.

POVO: Favourite music?
Hope: Thats a tricky question, especially nowadays is fashionable to say I listen to everything as long as it’s well done. Growing up, in high school, everyone liked TOK, Whitney Houston. I also love that type of music by Salif Keita normally called World Music and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. I have always had a soft spot for that type of music which is probably why I was studying Ethnomusicology for the past two years; I think it’s just a rich area.

POVO: Ethnomusicology?
Hope: Oh it’s just a very complicated sounding name but it’s really nothing! Its musicology in a cultural context so you don't just study the music but you study the culture behind it. Yeah, and its usually non Western music.

POVO: Movies?
Hope: I loved Lord of the Rings! I loved the picture quality, I loved Cold Mountain, I love dramas also, and the Matrix funny enough!

POVO: Favorite Zimbabwean/ international fine artists?
Hope: To be honest I have been quite out of touch in that area.

POVO: Who inspired you as a student?
Hope: Chiko (Chazunguza). I am a bit biased because this guy was also my lecturer, but i have always thought he was very deep, and his work is very colourful in a very unusual way. I have always loved his prints which have always kind of stood out even up to now.

POVO: Latest book you've read or are reading?
Hope: I read too many books at the same time, I love short story compilations which are easier to read and don’t take too much of my time. I used to love big volumes but don’t have the time now. I am currently reading a compilation of short stories called Hatchings.

POVO: Describe your average day
Hope: I wake up to go to the College of Music, where I teach.

POVO: You teach at the College of Music?
Hope: I actually do vocal coaching most mornings. Mondays and Wednesdays I go to Gateway High School to coach Marimba. Every other day I am doing something that has to do with my music. Either I am studying at the college, rehearsing or at a show.

POVO: I know you don't want to dwell on the fine arts but where exactly are you, any exhibitions?
Hope: I have never done an exhibition in the fine arts. When I finished my fine art (Diploma) I started concentrating on fashion designing so I have been doing a lot of work but I have never exhibited.  I wouldn’t want to call it a hobby because I take it very seriously so I just compile the stuff and keep it - a form of stress release I guess.

POVO: You did a fashion show in 2008 at HIFA (Harare International Festival of the Arts), who did you do it with and how did that go?
Hope: I featured in my capacity as a musician and provided the music for that show. It was more of a forum where people came to discuss issues in the country’s fashion designing industry etc.