Taking a leaf from JoyRukanza

Langalakhe Mabena

Her work is exceptional and well presented, something that most Zimbabwean artistes can learn from!

Last week, RnB sensation JoyRukanza became the first Bulawayo artiste of her generation to advertise a single in a billboard.

She jetted into the country from her base in the United Kingdom only to release her smash hit Queendom on 8 October at a well-presented launch at Bulawayo’s Ster Kinekor cinema.

The event was graced by the media, close friends and loyal fans.

Though a hard act for “struggling” local artistes, a bit of professionalism on handling yourself as a brand can be learnt from JoyRukanza.

Covid-19 hit the whole industry and if an artiste decided to sit on their laurels and not side-hustle they would be doomed.

It is often believed that artistes are not educated or they simply shy away from advancing themselves through learning but at least going back to the desk can change someone’s career.

Sandra Ndebele can attest to that.

From all the skills that JoyRukanza is applying in her music career, it’s all because of the time she invested in education.

She is a Wizkid who walked an hour’s journey every day from Emadonkini (as Pumula South is affectionately known) to Sizane High School in Pelandaba and clocked her A level studies with a colourful 20 points.

She dropped out after a single semester at the University of Zimbabwe while studying Law under the Joshua Nkomo National Merit Scholarship and followed her dreams and enrolled with the Bryn Mawr College in the United States of America.

She graduated with a degree in International Studies and Africana Studies, a programme which afforded her a comfortable job as a technology analyst for an asset management company, BlackRock.

She explained to B-Metro that her investment in education had enabled her to sustain her music career.

Proof of that, is her latest musical video Queendom which was shot at Tanzanian historical site Bagamoyo and Dar es Salaam.

From all the activities during the shoot of the video, launching it at Ster Kinekor cinema and marketing it on Billboards around the city of Bulawayo, all translates to personal money attained through her day-to-day work without sponsorship.

Local artistes have to take a leaf from her inspiring story and learn to do things on their own.

JoyRukanza values education and she has done extra ordinary for students from Pumula South as she hired a Zupco Bus to carry them for free to their various schools that are along the route from Pumula South to the city centre.

“I used to walk to Sizane from Pumula South, a journey that took over an hour. During that time, the economy was not doing great and it made sense for many families to save up on groceries than transportation costs.

“So, I saw that local kids are also facing what I went through during my schooling days. I then approached Zupco and paid for free 12 hours transportation for students living in Pumula to town.

“I am very passionate about education and academic excellence and I am happy to have engaged students and parents through the project.

“It is also my hope that this project challenges other corporations and artistes to engage the community through corporate social responsibility initiatives,” said JoyRukanza.

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