Vimbai opens up, Explains the pictures!
Netherlands-based Zimbabwean artiste Vimbai Zimuto who has been criticised by many for posting artistic pictures says the pictures are a way of liberating herself, claiming she was a victim of se_xual abuse.
Speaking to Acie Lumumba on Sunday evening during The Lumumba Files drive show, the musician who was raised by her grandmother in Chitungwiza as her parents died when she was 10 years old said: “I grew up with so much hate for myself because I was se_xually abused when I was a kid. I constantly told myself I didn’t deserve good things.
“Also because my parents died when I was 10, there were relatives who always told me I’d be nothing/no one in life so I grew up with an ‘I can’t do this’ mindset and hated myself. I had no confidence,” she told Acie.
So bad was this inferiority complex that it affected her marriage.
“Eight years ago, I got married to a white guy and his mum was the first person to tell me I was beautiful. However, each time she hugged me, I got angry as I had so much anger that I was keeping for so long.
“I ended up divorcing my husband as this affected our relationship.”
After separating with her husband, the 36-year-old Vimbai said she realised she needed to try and love herself.
“One day as I was listening to Whitney Houston’s The Greatest Love of All, I cried when it was playing as I understood that the greatest love of all is loving myself. In that moment, I told myself I needed to love myself and started looking myself in the mirror frequently telling myself that I’m extraordinary, talented and amazing.
“I started doing body workouts about two years ago and this is when the idea of the shoot came. It was out of the blue as I just asked one of my friends to take a picture of me. After seeing it, I felt liberated and posted it. Now I’m so confident.”
Asked if she posted the images on social media for herself or to gain followers, she said it was mostly for her.
“Of course, I expected a backlash from people and some to see it as art so I didn’t feel horrible afterwards. I never regretted it because it made me feel good,” Vimbai said.
After seeing her images, the most recent being the one she posted mourning those who died in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash, most described the artiste as immoral.
She, however, said those images have nothing to do with her personality.
“It’s part of my art. It has nothing to do with the rest of what Vimbai does. When we talk about culture, our ancestors were so comfortable in their skin until white people came and told them they need to cover up. Basically, they (whites) stripped off the most liberal thing we had as we were so comfortable in our own skin.”
Turning to her music, the artiste who is in the country to finish off working on her third album as well as shoot videos said: “I love the Zimbabwean touch and that’s why 99 percent of my recordings are done in Zimbabwe.”
The versatile artiste who at one point was part of Oliver Mtukudzi’s Black Spirits band said her music career started when she was six years old.
“My first instrument was the tambourine. From Grade 4, I was in the school choir and learnt traditional dances like mbakumba, muchongoyo, dinhe, chinyambera and Jerusarema etc. When I started Form 1 at Zengeza High, music was introduced the same year in 1997 and by then, I was already playing mbira and marimba.”
She once participated in the Music Crossroads Zimbabwe competition where she reached the finals.
On why most of her music is romantic, the musician who stirred controversy last year with her racy Hapana Kwaunoenda music video in which she appeared in X-rated scenes said it was because most Zimbabweans deem it (bedroom acts) shameful.
“It’s because it’s something that we decided to put away because we think it’s shameful (bedroom issues). We find it so hard to talk about these issues (intimacy),” she said.
Asked which artiste she would want to collaborate with in Zimbabwe, Vimbai said any female artiste. She, however, singled out fast-rising musician Tammy whom she said was way ahead of her time.
“Tammy, who I believe is one of the best vocalists in Zimbabwe, is way ahead of her time. The things she does, we haven’t yet understood. At some point, most of us end up having to come back from there (extraterrestrial) and try to adjust down so I hope she doesn’t do that and just keeps going.”
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