For the late Paul Matavire’s backing vocalist – Nontuthuzelo Chipunza – music is not enough to put a roof over her head and food on the table.
Nontuthuzelo was born Nontuthuzelo Ngutshana, but in the music industry she is known as Nontuthuzelo Chipunza because of her marriage to the late Saul Chipunza, Matavire’s drummer.
She spent close to five years with the late Matavire and The Jairos Jiri Band. She backed the sungura muso in popular albums including Back From College.
Nontuthuzelo says the death of Matavire was a major blow to her and her husband. After his death they relocated to Botswana and life became tough – for her family to eat, she had to do menial jobs.
“Life got tough in Botswana. My husband and I agreed that I have to do part-time jobs to survive,” she said.
Being passionate about hairdressing, the muso enrolled for a hairdressing course.
“I had shallow knowledge of hairdressing then I had to do a course to sharpen my skills and provide quality service to my clients,” she said.
She gave her all and excelled in the course. She did attachments at one of the best salons. While she was there things started falling into place.
She started to get clients and the numbers of her clients grew as they liked her service.
Soon she was offering hairdressing services at her lodgings. Her landlady started to complain about people coming in and out of her yard and that forced her to look for a space to rent. Finding a place to rent was not a walk in the park and the finances were diminishing day by day since she had stopped working.
“It took me about two straight months to get a place to rent and at the time I had run out of money, a friend had to bail me out,” she shares.
As time went by, she managed to establish her footing in the cut-throat industry.
“I was competing with already established businesses and they were charging slightly lower prices than me. In the first months life was tough for me and along the way my husband fell sick and that gobbled up all the profits as I channeled money towards his medical bills.
“My husband died and once again things became tough,” Nontuthuzelo said.
After his burial, she started to reclaim her footing in the business industry. She then came back home in 2018. She reveals that she sold some of her assets and rented a place to do hairdressing and the business is gradually growing.
“I would like to thank the favour of the Lord because my business is slowly growing and now, I have hired six employees.
“Artistes should not rely on music alone but do something aside that will be their fall back on dark days.”
She is working on producing her second album.
“I’m at an advanced stage in producing my second album after my first album Bawo Ndixolele. This will be an all gospel album,” she said.