Cynthia Mare Babongile Sikhonjwa
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Cynthia Mare is a Zimbabwean Afro-fusion song writer and singer. She rose to national stardom in 2010 when she released her second album, Summer of Love. The later which was produced by a UK recording label, Krunchie Productions, carried the hit Catch me when I fall. The later made waves both locally and internationally.
Mare was born to Enita Charewa Chamboko. She attended St Dominics from Form 1 up to Form 2. She then transferred to Hermain Gmeiner in Bindura where she became a head girl in Form 4. Mare said the former school, which is a catholic school, instilled the discipline which she still has. When she lost her mother to breast cancer in 2011 Mare went on to release a whole album dedicated to her mother entitled, Songs my mother loved, the album carried Jazz and gospel tracks and some church hymns. Some of the songs on the album includes, Hatina musa panyika, Pfugama Unamate and Zuva Rimwe
Mare had shared the stage with the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi and Sean Paul. She grew up with a passion for music. At age five, it is said that she told her father that she wanted to be a singer someday. When she reached 16, Mare moved to the UK to study and that is where she began her musical journey as an R&B singer. She later changed the genre to a more African sound that reflects her origins and experiences. The sound had influences of Jazz and Gospel in addition to traditional Zimbabwean sounds of guitar and Mbira. In her teens she sang in the local Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM) church choir and at school. She broke the ice in 2007 when she released her debut album, Happy. She then followed the album with a string of singles. She then went on to release her second offering in 2010, Summer of Love. It was this album that made her a household name and from there she never looked back. Mare won the BEFFTA (Black, Entertainment, Film, Fashion, Television and Arts) Award for ‘Best UK Female Afro/Caribbean Act’.
Sikhonjwa is a multi-talented artiste who boasts being part of Buck Wild Entertainment, a group of promoters based in the United Kingdom who initiated Miss Zimbabwe UK and independence celebrations in London .He was born in June 1976 at Marondera Polyclinic in Mzilikazi, Bulawayo.
Sikhonjwa went to Mzingwane High School up to Form Four before attending Milton High School for ‘A’ Levels. At ‘A’ level, he was part of a play dubbed Jail House which he says made him popular. In the late ’90s he moved to the UK to study at North London University where he completed a diploma in sound engineering. He produced songs We MaNcube and Nyawo Lwami which became hits at home and abroad, earning him the moniker Ndebele Rock Star. Sikhonjwa formed a self-titled group Babongile in 1999 which toured Europe.
Upon his return, in 2002 he compiled songs for popular Bulawayo artistes Achuzzi, Skelem, Nkululeko Dube and others in a compilation he titled Wena WeNdlovu Volume 1.He went on to produce an animated cartoon video with Nqobizitha Mlilo for the song I Spy .He first went live on television when he co-hosted the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Gala. He went on to become a co-presenter for the Miss Strides pageant with a Swazi television presenter Nomahlubi Matiwane and has been involved largely in events management.
He has released other hit songs that have topped the charts such as Highlanders and Stameta. He has proven to be a multi-talented artiste who boasts being part of Buck Wild Entertainment, a group of promoters based in the United Kingdom who initiated Miss Zimbabwe United Kingdom and independence celebrations in London. He released single Kayibulawe a celebratory song written to celebrate 120 years of Bulawayo’s modern existence. Sikhonjwa is also a radio personality and hosts the Vuka Vuka Breakfast show on Skyz Metro FM on weekdays.