I had the pleasure of chatting to musician Martha Longwe for our Marigold Series for phenomenal women who are thriving one step at a time in their industries.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: I’m Martha Longwe, and l was born and raised in Bulawayo. I’m a born-again Christian singer, songwriter, beautician and a mother.
Q: Every musician has that one unforgettable event in which they’d have participated. Which one comes quickly to mind here?
A: What quickly comes to mind is the opportunity I was accorded when l was requested to be one of the backing vocalists for Jimmy D Psalmist when he came to Zimbabwe on tour. It really was an awesome experience!
Q: You were once a member of the Zimpraise Choir. How was your experience there like?
A: Being part of the Zimpraise Choir was a great experience. l enjoyed being part of the band, and l can safely say l learnt a lot during that time.
Q: Zimpraise Choir does tours. May you kindly share with us your travel diaries, and how they positively impacted your career.
A: We went on a couple of local tours, and it was always fun going out as a band and doing what we loved most: spreading the word of God through music. The tours exhibited that music is a powerful tool in spreading the Word of God, and my experiences at Zimpraise Choir also taught me to pray more and to have a closer, personal walk with God. I won’t trade these experiences with anything else because they have helped me in my solo career as well.
Q: How has your background as an ex-Zimpraise member aided in shaping you into a solo musician?
A: Zimpraise Choir had a certain level of excellency associated with it, and being a member means “high expectations” are automatically anticipated from you. Looking back, I regard it all as positive reinforcement, as it encourages one to work hard. My Zimpraise background was all fundamental to my solo career, as l believe it has aided in shaping it. I work so hard, because I’d like to keep getting better and better each time, and as I release new songs, I feel motivated to keep excelling.
Q: Everyone has an icon they look up to. Who inspires your vibe as a musician, and why?
A: Hahaha, one is too little because I have a lot of people that inspire me though they may all have different vibes from mine. Seeing or hearing them perform leaves me feeling a certain way, and I always have this thing inside of me that shouts, “l wanna be like that!” BUT, if I were to pick one musician: l love Ntokozo Mbatha because besides being a hard worker, she is full of the word, and her ministration is power-packed.
Q: Do you have recent musical releases and offerings that are currently being aired on our different channels?
A: Yes. I released a single called “Ofana Naye” in April, and it has been doing well on local radio stations.
Q: Everyone has their ups and downs. Which moments did you feel like you had reached rock bottom during your musical career?
A: I actually hit rock bottom when l started my solo project because l faced a lot of discouragement and momentarily gave up. Three years later and by the grace of God, I am back! I finally pulled myself together and got back into the studio.
Q: How did you work your way out of the dark place?
A: l am thankful to God who sent the right people just-in-time to assist me in getting back in my groove and to start all over again. I believe that if God puts a desire in you, you need to pursue it to the very end. He gave me this gift, so He will see it through.
Q: How has your career as a musician influenced other aspects of your life?
A: Besides being a musician, I am also a Beautician who specializes in doing nails and make-up. l also run a beauty shop named MarLo Beauty situated at Chinhoyi Mall Hop A7, where I sell cosmetics. Music has made me link up with quite a number of people, which is all a blessing as it also directly boosts my businesses and increases my clientele base.
Q: You are in the limelight, and that lifestyle is a bit demanding. How do you juggle your different tasks day-to-day?
A: Well, I would be lying if I say my schedule is that cramped up. With where l am for now in my music career, the pressure is still less so l can still juggle my tasks around easily. I wouldn’t know how it will be like in future though, but I am anticipating the hustle it’ll all bring.
Q: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
A: I envision myself travelling around the world, and doing the work of God through music.
Q: Being a mum can be a tough call. What’s most memorable about this journey?
A: Watching my child grow is so amazing. Sometimes I feel as if I’m not yet ready to see her getting taller than me!
Q: Are you the only musician in your family, and is your daughter also talented music-wise?
A: So far, l’m the only musician in my family. My daughter loves dancing, and she is good at it. I’d like to urge her to pursue her talent as well, because the only limit is self-doubt.
Q: When taking a casual rest after work or recording something, which movie is your go-to?
A: Pitch Perfect (It says it all.)
Q: As Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe, it is our responsibility to uplift other women. Feel free to share with us any works you’re currently engaged in.
A: Currently, I am working on my second album which is almost complete. The “Ofana Naye” video will also be coming out soon. Be prepared!
Q: All good things come to an end. As we conclude the interview, kindly leave words of advice to other Ladies who might be dreaming of embarking into this career.
A: l would like to just say to budding musicians: Know who you are, whose you are, and who you serve. Never look down upon yourself, because inside of you is greatness. Let Jesus be at the center of it all, and I guarantee you success. If you follow your heart and His lead, you will be walking in greatness.