PART 2. LISTEN TO PART 1 FIRST
Today Vongai sits down with Nyasha Matanda, a creative at the core with different talents and gifts. Nyasha, founded a skincare company that formulates products that are safe for babies with eczema and dry skin conditions. She is also a dancer and member of the ZimThrive Initiative as well as a mentor undergoing leadership training. An LLB with Business Graduate with over ten years of healthcare regulation experience, her most treasured gift is the gift of Motherhood to two beautiful girls.
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Nyasha : Yeah, there's no limit now, for us. You know, there's no limit. There's no limit. And I was at a TED talk three years ago. TEDx Houston. And they were speaking about the African child within the diaspora and how our forefathers or our mothers and parents have, have pushed the baton to a certain point. You know, they've come, they've been abroad. They've done this. They've done the education, they've lived within those parameters, and they've left. We have been now given like we're running the race. It’s a relay isn’t it. We’ve been given the baton. And our thing is to learn but to bring that knowledge, if we can back home. At some point, we will touch base at some point if that's what we need to do, but we are taking it to the next level now. As I said it's a renaissance. It’s a Zimbabwean renaissance.
Vongai I really love that so much. I think about this also in terms of women's empowerment and also racial justice work. I am a huge Elaine Welteroth fan. She's my big sis in my head. I have met her, we took the selfie together and it’s everything. My book is signed. I was at the book launch. So I have a vision board. But next to my vision board, I have this other board that I like covered with floral wrapping paper. And then I said to myself, you know what I want to be - it's kind of actually based on something in Elaine Welteroth’s book. So she is biracial and she had to do this school project where she showed her family, and she saw all the kids y’know had these magazines and they would be cutting out their white mothers and fathers and all of this. And she just was confused and felt out of place. So she went home, and then she had the project and then her mom looked at and she like what is this and she's like ‘Uh uh’. We're gonna sit down. And then she calls her older brother to come over. And then they're like, we're gonna redo this homework together, she got a copy, the mom got a copy of Ebony and then got like another like another what’s it, magazine, and like found Black images to also put with her white father. And then stuck it above her bed so that she would have something to look at as representation. So based off of that story, and it's so funny, because I actually sat next to Mama Welteroth during one of the events. I was like ‘Hi Mama Welteroth’. Oh, yeah, I love her so much. I love it. Like, like I said, She's like my sister, mentor in my head.
Anyway, so based off of that story, I like took a took one of my extra boards that I had covered it with floral wrapping paper that I had leftover, and went to Barnes and Noble and just got like Essence and some hair magazines, and like some film magazines, and I was like, Look, I'm gonna find all the flyest Black women that like I love and respect. And I'm just going to put them on this thing. So I like cut out different photos. And Elaine was actually in one of those magazines. I was meant to get it. So cut out a photo of Elaine. And there was a quote in the magazine that I stuck up on top of her photo, and it said something along the lines of occupy all the spaces that were like never meant for us or something like that. Yeah, like occupy, it's time for us to occupy all spaces. And I find y’know, there's this whole debate about like, um, yeah, this whole debate about like, we shouldn't be looking for a seat at the table, we need to build our own tables, right? Which again, you know, awesome, yes, let's build our own tables. But I also feel like it is important for us to also occupy all spaces. And like, as we're we should do both, as we're like, try building our own companies and working up that equity. Also, we need that exposure, that global exposure that you get at those tables. So it reminded me about that.
What do you wish more people were aware of when it comes to starting your own business? Especially because in the beginning, it can be like super exciting, but then overwhelming because you're like, I got to do the bank account and pay the taxes and fill the right forums. And aaah do I really want to do this
Nyasha: I think people need to know that it's about the journey, not about the destination. I think people look at it and they're like, okay, I want to make money let me start a business. It's like, No, no, no.
Vongai : I know those people. And there are people who come to me saying you should do this. And I'm like, why are you telling me what to do? Do you know how this works? No. Okay, then sit down. Thank you for sharing, you can sit down.
Nyasha : Right as someone, I think people will do the market research, right? Because that's how you're supposed to start your business, you do market research, you see what's the most lucrative, the most valuable the most, you know. The thing that people will buy, so you get riches quickly and so forth. And having been someone who created something out of necessity and then turned it into a business, my whole mental with regard to that is completely different. And like I said, it's about having the patience and maybe the sort of instant gratification, it's a journey, there's ups and downs, the highs, the lows, and it might not be that business that gives you the success that you crave. It could be one business that you create out of a character that is built from your previous experience. So it's about character building. I can’t believe I’m actually saying because my dad used to say this to me all the time. I think it is that thing where it's like it's about the journey. And it's about the personal growth, especially if it's a business that aligns with integrity aligns with with the environment. And aligns with – that’s socially conscious. It's about the little things that you're actually doing to change or even create something. Create a legacy that you're going to leave for your kids. So yeah, I wish people knew exactly just about just the development of the person. Anyone can be successful. Anyone can have stuff in abundance. But if you're, if your heart is not right. It’s like what Lauryn Hill says, How are you gonna win? If you ain’t right within?
Vongai :[raps] How you gon win? If you ain’t right within?
Nyasha : How you gon win, if you aint’ right within? Who cares, if you’re driving the latest Bentley. Who cares that you're in your mansion? Who cares? It can be even more lonely at the top. But if your integrity is right, if your standing is right. If your sense of community is straight. Your sense of maybe even given back as a business is is right then then you that's what is more important. And if the business fails, you can set up another one because your characters built to just keep going. You get up, you fall, you dust yourself off and you keep going, you know.
Vongai: You make me think of Cardi B for some reason.
Nyasha: Do I?
Vongai : First track on her album. She's like, she's like fall down once then I get up 10 or whatever she say.
Nyasha Right? That’s what it’s about. You constantly, that Phoenix is constantly rising out of the ashes. Getting burnt and like -
Vongai I think of the butterfly. Yeah, people like think of the butterfly, but it's actually the caterpillar. And it's the caterpillar in the cocoon. Like you just can't pull the caterpillar out of the cocoon. Yeah, it has to stay there. And it breaks out. And it's that metamorphosis process is similar to both birth and death, which is why it's like life is a cycle because that act of birth is is beautiful, but it's also like chaotic and filled with like, pain, and I don't know what other descriptors to use. And then like death is almost as like a parallel to that. If that makes sense. So it's all a cycle
Nyasha Through pain is where you find your light, right? Pain is where and so there's this thing about. I'll give you this Caterpillar was cocooned and about to turn into a butterfly. I think a little boy went and helped it break out of its cocoon, and the caterpillar died, before it became a butterfly. So unless you go through that pain by yourself, that metamorphosis by yourself, sometimes you can't then spread your wings and fly as high as you need to. So, but it's through pain is through the experience of pain, that you find your gifts, that you find your light, but that you rise up, I'll give myself as an example, my pain was having a child screaming and scratching and not falling asleep because of their eczema. And me being at my wit's end, half asleep thinking, What am I going to do? How am I going to you know? You almost feel like a failure. Like I made you, but you're in so much pain. Y’know, her skin got leathery, at some point, you know, we've got pigmented and her legs, which was just her legs were the worst place. Like how can I take the pain away? I don't know what to do, but through that pain, and almost through prayer, and I'm saying I don't know, what do you do? And you know, those silent prayers, like “Please go to bed. Go please. I’m so tired.” Came SilkEBee right? And for me through the dancing and stuff like that. Through the pain of what was a breakup for me and, and the separation and so forth that came with the healing of my inner child and connecting back to dance. And in actually claiming that I am a dancer. Yes, fine. I didn't go to dancing school. I didn't go to LaGuardia.
Vongai [laughs] She said LAGUARDIA y’all. You make me put on my New York accent. That's my actual New York friends laugh at like you're hilarious.
Nyasha I didn't go to the national school of ballet. I didn't
Vongai To RADA, to LAMDA.
Nyasha My school was, you know, ballet class. You know, in junior school, which I quit because I used to get so tired. I stopped that. And it was the clubs and it was the you know, it was the parties. That was my school. But it was through reconnecting because I was in pain at the time, that I could then release that pent up those pent up emotions and just channel those emotions into creativity and almost transmute that use that energy into positive.
Vongai Would you say that dance for you is self care? And is that one of like maybe one of the many tools or rituals that you use to help you keep going when times are hard and you feel like giving up? Are there any other tools or rituals?
Nyasha That is the go to. I always feel lighter because I, you know, I, you have those days where you feel the tension in your back, you feel the tension on your shoulders, and you know, work has been difficult, pop on some music, and let's just get lost in the creativity. I almost go into I guess a bit of a trance. I don’t know if you’ve seen my videos on, on Insta, and I look back at them sometimes and I'm like, gosh, you were not in this world. Like the eyes are just like dead. I'm like staring straight at the camera, and just doing what I have to do. Because out of that is my release and my, my my peace. And my exhale.
Yeah, because in that moment, you're connecting your breath, and your body and your mind, gets still on quietens for a bit. So like you're in your body in that moment, like you, you have to be in that moment. So it's a really great way to process emotions, especially negative ones, because you don't want to be bottling up these emotions or just like forgetting about them, because it makes them like just want to burst and it just makes them like, almost become worse. Like this idea of like killing your ego or like silencing your ego, it makes your ego louder. So what you want to do is somehow, like, make peace with your ego be I always say nurture yourself, be a mother to yourself, because the ego is actually also formed at seven years old, the same time as the subconscious mind and we're learning about the world. So if you're like, Okay, I understand that you're scared because of XYZ. But here is proof that it's going to be okay. Or like, Just trust me, it's going to be okay. And I've learned in my 16 week course that stuff like shaking and moving is like you said stuff that's very intuitive to us natural to us. It's ingrained within our DNA from just different generations. It's a really good way energetically to just transmute emotions, and vibrationally to just increase and uplift your frequency and your vibration. So I feel like, like I said, I'm not a dancer, like you with your choreography and your pop locking. I'm just that ‘Oooh this my jam’ that's me.
Nyasha : That’s how it starts! That is how it starts. [laughter]
Vongai : But I would say moving and music. Music is definitely my first love. It saved me during this pandemic, because I had to make sure that it was like my. Well, actually, before this pandemic, it was always kind of part of my morning routine, especially when getting ready for an audition. To me, it's like, Oh, I like I created this scenario in my head. Like, I get to go to a one day only performance that these people are never going to see again, unless they book me. So I'd be in the shower, and I'd be playing like Alicia Keys or Beyonce or Mariah Carey, because I like to sing along. She's my godmother in my head. I am a Christmas baby. And that's a whole other story. And that's a whole other episode. So we won't get into it today. But like I would always put on that music and it would make me feel really good. And then I'm like putting on clothes that make me feel happy. And then doing kind of my makeup and being like cool I'm ready for for my scene for this audition. And then I would like head to because this was pre COVID times head to the audition place. And while waiting for the subway, I'd be like dancing to my music getting me pumped. Kind of like pre gaming. Like before you go out dancing with your friends. Do that. And then I'd be listening to music in the waiting room is everyone's been super serious and actor-y and nervous and all the things. I'm that person in the audition room who's like, you're gonna be amazing. It's great. People were like Who are you? Sometimes I'd have people being like, you're really nice. What's your name? I want to follow you on Instagram. Anyway, so music was always like, it just always got me in the zone. It made me look forward to auditions because it meant Oh, I'm gonna put on my 70s playlist because in my head, I'm a disco dancer. I would have been the flyest disco dancer in the 70s.
So it made me look forward to auditions. And then during pandemic, I'm at home because Broadway shut down. Hollywood shut down. My job which involves talking to audiences about Broadway shows which meant being around people, shut down. So suddenly I'm like, What? Who am I? What is my purpose? Am I still an actor? If I do not act? Am I this, am I. So, you know, I put a lot of artists into like a kind of existential funk and a lot of stuff with, like financial uncertainty to do with livelihood. Governments weren't so quick to help out artists, surprisingly, even though everyone's at home watching Netflix and reading books and looking at pictures. And all these streamers were suddenly like, okay, we need to talk to all the writers in town, because we're going to run out of content, because we're not doing anything right now. So during the pandemic, I had to make myself have almost daily dance parties. And I find like, like, one of my go to albums has been, Beyonce’s Homecoming Live, it just like gets me in the mood, in the zone. And it also helps set the tone for the day. That it's like, look, we're going for Black Excellence, we're going for greatness. We’re going for this or, yeah, like, so dance in that aspect really, dance and music really saved me during this pandemic, otherwise, I would have been going down a very deep, dark place. Because like, as you know, mental health is on the rise, because everyone just had to be indoors. And I had like, there was so much uncertainty of the future, and just so many different things up ended, whether it's like work or not being able to see your loved ones or family. So dance helped me in that way.
Nyasha I think mental health even before the pandemic, so now it's just, it's completely heightened. Definitely. Yeah, so, and music and movement are healing, and great for mental health. So, you know, that's where, like I said, even for me, it wasn't even a pandemic, that got me to a point where I'm putting myself out there and popping myself on Instagram, and just dancing in just, you know, popping the camera on. And I remember a few friends actually did think at the time that I'd gone crazy, because they're like, what is this? It's me, is the real me. Not the one that you're comfortable with the one that will sit there and be like, Oh, this is this is the real me. And hear me roar.
Vongai I think we should take this moment to pat ourselves on the back for just being so, one being so honest with ourselves during this time, because even though people are getting vaccinated, and there's like this transition into a new normal, we are still in a pandemic. And we should also thank our bodies for still being here. Because it like it takes a lot. Like seeing those figures (statistics) and just having all these changes a lot on the mind and the body. I have one last question and then we can go directly into our lightning round. Okay, you ready for it?
Vongai What advice would you have for someone listening right now? Who might be thinking, like, you know, I want to do what Nyasha does. She's amazing. She's so inspiring, but I'm not quite sure where to start. Would you have any resources, whether they're courses, organizations, books, or websites that you can recommend, even if it's just local to the United Kingdom?
Nyasha In terms of just with regards to actually starting up Natural Skincare, there's quite a few courses out there. If you look on YouTube, there's a School of Natural Skincare on there. There's a lot that have popped up, I don't know all their names, but literally just Google Natural Skincare course. And you know, and loads of stuff comes up. One thing that I think that definitely helped me as a as a new business was an organization called Enterprise Nation. Every January they run business startups, seminars and a business startup event. And they used to do do them pre pandemic in Canary Wharf and they'll take over the whole of like, the HSBC building, and it will just be like different floors of resources for new businesses. So you'd go there, you know, banks would you know what bank business bank accounts and marketing, you know, production, whatever else, whatever information you needed to know, whatever industry you're in, but then they also as the year progresses, do different things for different industries. So they'll do like a wellness seminar, they'll do a beauty seminar. And then at some point that she did they would help people introduce people to other markets because as you know, the UK market is completely saturated. It's only a small island.
Vongai: That makes sense.
Nyasha : Yeah. I think just the UK in general, so they do advise that you branch out because you might not make your money just in the UK alone because of the fact that it's so saturated. So Entreprise Nation is brilliant. So one thing that I was told, when I first started the business was, Okay, great, you've got your business, but you need to build your personal brand. Who are you? You know, and I didn't get that. Who needs to know who I am, you know, they've got eczema, right? They children have got eczema just buy the product. It is what it is. It’s true in terms of actually building my character, I guess that's it, that's what the dance comes from, you know, sort of starting to work in working in asset development and, and mentorship and leadership and, and getting all these different opportunities. That's all come through developing my personal brand. That's creating different networks to then collaborate my, you know, my actual brand that's there. But other also add opportunities to branch out to pivot to get to know, you know, the way that I found you was through, you know, going finding a seminar online. Wasn’t it? Forbes wasn’t it ?
Vongai : Forbes, Women in Africa, the International Women's Day event.
Nyasha: Right? So look out for seminars, look out on Eventbrite, look for mentorship. Look for business mentorship. People who are really doing what you're doing, who are building their characters for, for being entrepreneurial because, you know, a lot of people don't have that support within their families. My parents were not necessarily entrepreneurs, they were, you know, they were nine to fivers, or whatever else. So you might not have that support with your friends and family when you’re like oh I want to start a business. You might not get that, well done, this is great. You won't get it but if you surround yourself, as you say. You're the total sum of the five people that you know, if you surround yourself who speak -
Vongai Yes that is my quote. When I learnt this quote! Who was this? Was it Jim Rohn, who said this? Because I'm obsessed with like Tony Robbins and self-development. Which is why I'm so drawn to you and, and we possibly read all the books. But when I first heard that, quote, I literally spread it like gospel like the way Oprah was handing out The Color Purple on the bridge. I was like, everyone, this quote, it's gonna change your life. And everyone’s like, where did you learn this? I'm like, it's important. And I took that quote, and I kind of turned it into a joke. I'm like, so if I'm the average of the five people that I spend time with, who is keeping me away from my money? [chuckles] I turned into a whole joke, but it's true.
Nyasha : It's true.
Vongai: It's true. It's someone keeping me away from my money, I gotta change that.
Nyasha : Gotta change it. And -
Vongai : And it doesn't mean like cutting someone off. It just means kind of you should never be the smartest person in the room.
Nyasha : I was just gonna say that.
Vongai : Yass girl we vibin’, we sistas.
Nyasha You see how I was trying to interrupt and get in there. And and and you're like. Then you said it and I’m like oh man I wanted to say it. It’s cool you got me, you got me.
Vongai Regarding books, what books would you recommend not necessarily do with skincare, but that self development and mindset. Like the first three that comes to your mind?
Nyasha How you gonna win if you ain’t right within? Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now. That is just about mindfulness and about how you've got to be right to be able to get on with life and to pour in to anything else other than yourself. So, Eckhart Tolle speaks about the power of now and being in the present moment. So not thinking backwards, because that can cause depression, and not always forward facing and thinking and planning your future because that can cause anxiety. But finding your peace in what is happening now.
Vongai Ooh I hate to cut it in. But Osho has this quote about not looking into the past, because then you're not physically here. You're stuck there. Yeah. And because you're not physically then in the present that's determining your future. I was like ‘whoa and then Deepak Chopra has something about like, you must start the thing in the present because then the present becomes the future like I forget what it was. I was like, whoa. You and I are literally on the same wavelength. So the other two books,
Nyasha Everyone communicates, few connect and it's John Maxwell.
Vongai Nice. Yeah my mom has a couple of John Maxwell books.
Nyasha Yeah. And last one. See businesses about you more than anything. Anything that Brene Brown does I love. So I'll recommend Daring Greatly.
Vongai I love that. I actually have not read it. It's been on my list forever. And I don't know why I haven't gotten onto it yet. But I love her as a speaker. I watched her TED Talk a couple of her YouTube things. And then she had that special on Netflix, which was so good. And I'm subscribed to her podcast. I'm pretty sad, because now she's moved to Spotify, which is going to force me to go to Spotify. But like, why do you do this? But yeah, I also follow her on Instagram. She's amazing. So I would definitely recommend her podcast and two other podcasts that I would recommend, which are actually like, I've taken them as inspiration for molding and shaping. And I guess, envisioning what this show is. The first one is like my favorite of all time, the School of Greatness by Lewis Howes. And he's actually written two books. One is the School of greatness. The other is the Mask of Masculinity. So men, go cop dat book. And the second one is sponsored by Netflix's Strong Black Lead, and it's called Strong Black Legends. Tracy sits down with Black people we just grew up watching in these amazing films who've paved the way for us. And at the end of the episode she gives flowers to just a Black thing, which is hilarious. And she starts the podcast by being like, so you know how your mom was always like, What do you know about this thing? Well, I'm gonna be like, What do you know about Taye Diggs? Then go into it. So those two podcasts one if you're just looking for inspiration, Lewis Howes to me is spiritual bae. And he interviews some of the greatest and most successful people in the world from people who've worked in the Secret Service to Olympians and business people and people in the social media space and self help space. And when it comes to spirituality, he talks to a range of people he even spoke to Pastor Sarah Jakes who's like my pastor in my head, I absolutely love her. And he's he sat down with her and also Luvvie Ajayi. So he's great if you're looking for inspiration. And then Strong Black Legends, if you just if you're an actor or an artist, or if you're just curious about how some of these great black talents got their start in the industry. Just listening to that podcast is really great. It's definitely a celebration of Black Excellence. Hence, I want mine to be a celebration of ZimExcellence.
Nyasha So I follow Strong Black Leads on Instagram. Yeah. So I’ll look out for Strong Black Legends. I love it that especially if they’re delving into the Taye Diggs and stuff. All those old movies I used to watch back in the day.
Vongai Yeah people you think of as your mama and your auntie's in your head. And your uncles and your daddies and your baby daddies.
Nyasha : Baby daddies hmm.
Vongai What’s his name? Who am I thinking of? He I saw him in a play. Blair Underwood! I saw him in a play and he he came on and he was like, buttoning his shirt. And all the women in the Broadway theater were like [GASPS].I was like Kenny Leon, who's the director. I'm like, Kenny, you put that in there for for a moment didn't you.
Nyasha : Mhm watched many a Blair Underwood movie with my mouth and jaw to the floor.
Vongai Very yummy and chocolate. Okay, are you ready for our lightning round?
Nyasha As ready as I’ll ever be.
Vongai What is your zodiac sign
Nyasha Sagittarius. [raps] Asked what’s my sign? I said a Sag, I'm a star, sheriff page!
Vongai : That is a Nicki Minaj. Quote. I know my music. I love it. I'm a Capricorn the only song that Capricorn is in is the Beyonce one where she's like [sings] Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, OH
Nyasha : Which is listing everyone else! [laughs]
Vongai : [continues singing] Leo, Virgo, Libra Scorpio Sagittarius I love! my cheeks hurt Nyasha!
Nyasha : Mine too!
Vongai : Okay next question. The last song you listened to
Nyasha : Joe. Where you at!
Vongai So last book you read.
Nyasha Last one I read is literally How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Vongai Yes, Dale Carnegie. I'm currently reading Get Good with Money by Tiffany. I forget her last name. She goes by the Budgetnista on Instagram. Yeah, I'm trying to I'm trying to get good with my money.
Nyasha Needs to be done. Live below your means until you make it
Vongai Favorite holiday.
Nyasha : Mauritius.
Vongai : Oh, that is that is lovely. I actually I forget [British accent] holidays mean vacation. I actually meant like Christmas but I'm liking this Mauritius. Let’s forget about these seasonal ones. Talk to me about Mauritius girl.
Nyasha I went to Mauritius back in the day. And I just I loved it. It was just swam with dolphins. And I think it just encompassed all the things that I love doing. Like quad biking. Being a Sagittarian I'm quite adventurous anyway.
Vongai You’re wherever the wind blows. I'm well versed in astrology, like it freaks people out. I'm like, I can't go on dates because it accidentally comes out. I don't mean for it to and then people like so tell me more. And so then because they asked I tell them more. And then I'm ghosted and I'm like, excuse me. YOU asked me! I didn’t try and convert you. [laughs]
Nyasha I see what you mean. Yeah the whole being completely connected with the spiritual is a little bit of a people can't wrap their head around that quite a bit. So I know we haven't really gone into it. But I think there's a lot more that we can go into both you and I
Vongai Yeah def that’s for another episode
Nyasha Yeah but we don’t want to scare people right here
Vongai That could be a private podcast.
Nyasha The wokeness is maybe just a little bit sometimes to work with it and people. Yeah, Mauritius was just it was absolute an absolute vibe. And when I went I went to this hotel and it was called ‘Tamasa’ which actually means party, and there was a club at da hotel.
Vongai : [sings] Meet me at the hotel room.
Vongai & Nyasha : We at the hotel, motel, Holiday Inn.
Vongai You’re making me think of all the songs today I love it. It's a party, it’s a vibe, all the time. Next question. If you could have any superpower, what would it be.
Vongai Yes, mine is teleportation. Who's your favorite Avenger?
Nyasha Black Panther.
Vongai Favorite essential oil or herb.
Nyasha Oh my god. You can't do that to me.
Vongai Yes, I can I'm the host. Okay, top three top three go.
Nyasha : Lavender, rose oil and bergamont
Vongai I like well this isn't even an oil or a herb not that i think but I'm thinking Cardamom for some reason. Cardamom, peppermint, rosemary. Peppermint is my all time favorite. Favorite Zimbabwean musician? Top three go.
Nyasha Okay, um, I really like Hillzy.
Vongai You're the second person to say this.
Nyasha I love Hillzy. [sings] You’re my destination.
Vongai I need to listen to I confessed to Sibongile in a previous episode. I was like full confession. I've not listened to him and she was shocked and I was like, Yeah, you're gonna revoke My Zimbabwean card and she's like he is like Zimbabwe's Usher and I was like okay.
Nyasha : He literally is so love Hillzy, love Sha Sha.
Vongai Oh, she's, I've heard her see I'm only learning about people through the MADEINZWE playlist. And I'm picky like I have to listen to the first couple of seconds I'll be like, yeah, this beat is dope. I'm listening to the rest.
Nyasha : And I love Nutty O.
Vongai This is why the show exists so I can educate myself. Favorite Zimbabwean childhood snack?
Nyasha : Ah maKorn curls (corn curls) [laughs]
Vongai : I forgot about corn curls. Forgot. I'm like remembering so much someone said Froggy chocolate. Someone said the crispy mints. I've had two people say cerelac.
Nyasha Well that wasn't a snack that was actually like sustenance that was baby porridge. You’d be like five years old eating your little siblings cerelac because it was just bae. But actually as a whole adult I would go and buy you cerelac it but they've changed it. Now there's a new version it just doesn't taste the same. Probably doesn’t have as many E numbers that's why.
Vongai According to Sibongile that the trick is you have to get the Zimbabwean one not the South African one. She's She's got it down. So I'm gonna go by her word. I've never liked it. So it's fine.
Nyasha Next time I go to Zim I'm going to just stack up a whole suitcase of them and do it that way then. That's the best way.
Vongai [Zimbabwean accent] So Mazoe Orange vs Green vs Red kana pineapple.
Nyasha : Heee. Ne Crème Soda? Orange vs Crème Soda vs Cherry Plum? No Cherry Plum is SparLetta. I’m veering off.
Vongai : Oh, well answer this one and then I've got a new question to then ask you. So Mazoe orange versus green?
Nyasha : Cream soda. I'm sorry.
Vongai : You're the first one to say that everyone has said orange.
Nyasha: I'm a Sagittarius obviously I'm gonna be controversial.
Vongai: Ok so of the Coca-Coras (Coca-Colas) of the soft drinks because I need to translate for our non-Zimbabwean listeners . If I have any? I don’t know
Nyasha : I even did my Zim laugh! You know at the end we ki ki ki. It came out just now. I’m that Zim auntie now.
Vongai It’s because you're in the midst of family so it's fine. Safe Space. [laughs] My cheeks hurt Nyasha why is this ! So of the soft drink options, which one will you choose? This is no longer a speed round I’m upset, anyway [chuckles]
Nyasha Eeee pine nut, kana cherry plum? Ndongo choosa one? (Pine nut? Cherry plum? I can only choose one?)
Vongai: Ehe (yes) mine is Stoney ginger beer.
Nyasha: Oh, he Yeah. Okay, fair enough. Stoney?
Vongai : Is that your answer?
Nyasha : Pine nut is my answer. Did you hear that? I'm quite good at my American ‘answer’. By the end of this I’m going to sound American.
Vongai I love it because you're, you're helping my British accent come back. Because my American friends get so upset because I actually used to have a radio show. And so they'll listened back to some episodes and they'd be like, you sounded really British. Can you bring that back? And I'm like, first I went to acting school and they're like, do American and, and do the American all the time so it sounds good. And now you want the British back? What do you want from me? I don't know who I am anymore.
Nyasha I’m only one person. Right. But that's the thing about us. Now as Zimbabweans we are, you know, like I said, I had a Scottish accent at some point and then I had an accent at some point. I've been in different parts of England, sort of Birmingham accent and then I went to London. Kingston University. I had a South west London accent and yeah, went to law school and then became more muhahahahaha and you know.
Vongai You sound like a Charlie Brown character.
Nyasha Well you know, you go to law school, you lose the you know, you lose whatever twang you had and become posh and highbrow and can't really place where you're coming from, you know, because you're trying to be this person who presents cases to a judge and then yeah,that's just who we are now. Renaissance.
Vongai Yeah, the Zimbabwean Renaissance. And this whole multicultural world that we're moving towards. I am definitely a global citizen and I advocate for being a global citizen. Anyway, we're still in the speed round which is no longer speed round but it's a fine it's completely fine.
Nyasha : It’s an African speed round
Vongai : [African accent] Yes it’s African yes it’s the slow one. If you weren't the fabulous CEO, head of a whole empire, Boss Lady Mama, what do you think you'd be doing?
Nyasha : Dancer would would be the thing. You'd be seeing me as on stage with like the Chris Brown's and the Janet Jackson's and so forth. That's me.
Vongai I love that I was listening to Rhythm Nation earlier. Like I loved Hustlers just because they incorporated. Well, I loved Hustlers because it was a fantastic movie. Everyone go watch it. But if you don't like certain themes, then don't watch it. If you don't watch secular things, don't watch it. But I loved Hustlers. And I loved that incorporated Janet Jackson songs. Like who else is more like more empowering to to like put in besides her? Like I can't think of anyone else.
Nyasha : No one.
Vongai : Yeah, she just works her. She works in the soundtrack. Next one is a power statement. You fill out at the end. So I am Zim excellence because blank.
Nyasha : I am Zim excellence and I stand tall because I stand on the backs of those that came before me.
Vongai I love that. That's a beautiful reminder of being our ancestors, wildest dreams, our biggest dreams and never forgetting those before us and those to come. If you could nominate someone for the award of Zim excellence, who wouldn't be living or dead.
Nyasha Okay, was a person that pops straight into my mind right now is actually Shingai Shoniwa.
Vongai : Yes. I love her music.
Nyasha : So yeah, I love the vibe. I've met her once or twice, actually. But her vibe is just and everything that she's doing, you know, she's done a bit of acting as well. And, and sort of bringing that sound in almost becoming a mentor, possibly to other musicians to get to that level of you know, where she was with The Noisettes and stuff like that. So I just love I love that. She's very sort of down to earth and personable. And I met her at Shades of Beauty and I remember I was like, Here try some of my products? And she's like, okay, sure is like, Okay, cool. It was when she she met my mom. And she was like Mama! And I was like ‘Y’all know each other?’ you know that down to earthness came out. And she's just like you should be so proud of your daughter and this that and the other. But it was just like, wow, like, yeah, like just the whole package.
Vongai : I can't wait to meet her I'm putting it out into the universe in this moment. Okay, so if you could nominate someone to come on the show, who would it be?
Nyasha: You have to have MADEINZWE Munashe. Munashe Chirisa.
Vongai: I have spoken KUDA. I'm saying this I don't care if you hear this KUDA. He will say he's replying an email that day, and it will be five years later. and Munashe also sometimes just takes a while. So please know that they have been on my list for a while.
Nyasha: People are booked and busy.
Vongai : I'm just gonna leave it there. MADEINZWE y'all know where to find me. Y'all have my number. We have spoken before. I'm all about supporting you. So it is your move.
Nyasha: It's your go. Okay, they’re not picking up then speak to Kaz Khalif who's got a new single out right now. I don't know if you ever this ever listened to Heartless Crew back in the day. But he partners who were the UK his answer to just garbage music them and the Dream Team. There's quite a few people who kind of pioneered Black music at that time back in the day and our very own Kazz Khalif, he’s Zim. But he's from BK and Kazz if you ever listened to them. but he's now teamed up with literally one of like UK royalty in terms of like Black music and the Black music movement, and he's got a new song called Danger so there’s one person you could probably speak to as well.
Vongai : That's dope. So here we go Munashe Chirisa and Kazz Khalof y'all have officially been nominated to come on ZimExcellence. Shingai Shoniwa, you have officially been nominated for the award of ZimExcellence. Nyasha, thank you so much for coming on today. It has been a party. And I know there are many, many more conversations to be had. And I am so willing to have them if you'd love to come back anytime, come back as many times as you want. But as we wrap up this episode, I would love it if you could share a message with our listeners. Anything that you've got, like on your heart doesn't have to be a whole sermon. But like if you if you have a word, go ahead and share it. And as well as letting our listeners know where they can continue to find your journey and also buy some SilkEBee skin care. This is the downside of the pandemic, because we're doing this remotely, which is great because it gives us the access to have this conversation because I'm not going to be in the UK anytime soon. But I would have loved to have the products and to smell the peppermint and the coconut oil and the cocoa butter and the body balm and baby balms but take it away girl Take it away.
Nyasha Okay, so my message would be just be kind to others because you just never know when you're entertaining angels just never know what what people are going through or who they are. So just in anything you do be kind remember that. And where you can find me. First of all, Silkebee is www.silkebee.com . We're also on Amazon can follow us on Instagram. So SilkEBee skincare, Facebook, the Twitter handle, is just BeeSilke. And then obviously, if you want to see the dance and so forth, that's just NyashaMats on Instagram. And that's where you can find me and catch me. Thank you so much for the time.
Vongai That is absolutely amazing. We love it. It's a party, all of the resources, whether it's books, we mentioned, podcasts, websites, and social media links will be down in the show notes. Again, thank you. Thank you so much Nyasha. Again, we have so many more conversations to have. Come back when you have the time and the energy. As you know it's a party we'll be laughing It's the whole vibe.
Nyasha Thank you so much. Oh, and obviously we'll try and sort out a discount as well discount code for those that are in Europe, America and sort of Yeah, Canada. I'm working on trying to get myself to Zim for SilkEBee and so forth. But at the moment, shipping is just UK and everywhere else that allows shipping easily.
Vongai And again, natural drink water, natural skin care for the whole family. Go get you some SilkEBee. Alright y'all have a great day.
Outro : Mazvita. Tatenda. Siyabonga. Thank you so much for tuning in to this week’s episode of ZimExcellence. If you found value from this episode please share it with a friend and go ahead and subscribe, rate and review.
If you send me a screenshot of your review I’ll make sure to give you a shoutout on future episodes. Feel free to tag us on Instagram. @zimexcellencepodcast
And if you identify as Zimbabwean I want to hear your story so go ahead and email firstname.lastname@example.org. Til then have the best week and stay ZimExcellent!