Tinopona ‘Tin Tin’ Katsande
Harare, Zimbabwe (News of the South – Someone said a very hurtful thing to me yesterday. I was walking out my neighborhood supermarket and as I crossed to get into my jalopy , a beautiful , 16″ brazillian weave donning goddess called out to me.
I courteously obliged as I always do, pleasantries were exchanged and instinctively I reached into my handbag and brought out a flyer for my nail promotion which I instinctively handed to her.
She took one look at it , her face maneuvered from smile to scowl and she exploded. It was about my career choice and my lack of flashy/flamboyant, or as they phrased it “worthy” lifestyle or presentation of that lifestyle.
Oh boi, ouch!! I was actually stung sore in my heart. I wont share the exact words she said but she did round off with “….popular but poor, zvinobatsireyi izvozvo? Why are you so selfish? Why do you value being famous more than providing the very best for your son.
Why do you waste your time with this acting business when all it brings you is negative publicity because you are a so called Zim celeb..Shuwa kunzi celebrity iwe uchigadzira nzara? hahada! Hona now you are doing nails instead of getting your nails done at expensive places. “
Please note, this person was sitting in her crisp looking metallic dark blue Volvo with a status personalized plate and during her “advice” as she concluded, I deciphered she was into Real Estate and worked for a reputable Real Estate firm.
I had so much I wanted to retort back. All sorts of emotions rippled through my senses. Anger, hurt, embarrassment and for some reason I even felt a ting of guilt and shame. Perhaps she was right.
Having been in the acting business in Zimbabwe for over 20 years now, I surely should have more to show for it . I should be driving a “zi bango remota”, living in the hills, flossing my designer labels….you know all that that is associated with “celebrity”, But instead I live in a modest apartment, (if Im not in one of dads houses or in Mutown. Rent ma1 weduwe), I drive a jalopy (when its running efficiently , which presently it is not), I have very few designer labels in anything because:
1. I am a trincklet junkie
2. I cant afford most originals and imitations suck for me so loss it,
3. I live in Zimbabwe where lip service is of par excellence.
People in Zimbabwe are very quick to talk and praise about the skills and talent of the artist , (musicians and actors alike) but very slow to endorse the talent through buying the music or content through a legit platform.
(NB. buying a copy of ANYTHING of a Zim artist at Fife Ave Shops or Coppacobana etc IS NOT buying legit as we the artists don’t make a penny from the sales of those pirated copies – AND YOU ALL KNOW THAT!! ).
So what does someone like me do? Get involved in shady dealings and shady relationships so that I can drive that Volvo, wear the 16″ brazillian weave, live in that crib and floss the bling? hmmmm…..possibly, but for me its not sustainable . I’ve tried it, trust me lol! (hey but if its working for you #happydays)
So, instead, I will keep doing what I love doing and purse my acting and radio career in Zimbabwe because in-front of God and man I absolutely love the arts and I know I was born to change and influence peoples lives through performance.
So for as long as my career choice is not fully sustaining my livelihood I will subsidize/compensate and ‘fill in the gap” by using my other skills to generate income. I am a trained professional in cosmetology , so I will do hair and nails and teach hair and nails. I am a former model and beauty queen so I will train in modelling, grooming and etiquette. I’ve become some what of a media guru through experience and exposure in the industry so I will do media consultancies BUT what I WILL NOT do is succumb to social pressures and so called societal norms and abandon my life choices so that I can keep up appearances.
NO maam. NO sir. handikwanise izvozvo. Indeed , like any human I will ere in my life choices but I learn and make better. I will keep my focus and in my little small steps I will expand my brand “IMPECCABLE” which envelopes all my skills and talents and I will continue to provide for my son and family the best way I know how.
Many of us in Zimbabwe, with our current social economic environment, especially us women, are faced with the harsh realities of “do or die” on a day to day basis . Sometimes it comes in big decisions sometimes in the smallest of decisions but its a “do or die” situation non the less. Succumbing to social pressures and “living the life of …….” is just not going to cut it.
All it does is give you health problems, fuel your insecurity issues and leave you in debt. Its so not worth it. I KNOW kani. Ndakazvi tryer. Ko ungandiudze kuti chi ko iwe ?
Don’t be embarrassed to use your side skills to earn you a little bit more when your salary just aint cutting it. You bake really well, bake those muffins, take them to work and sell on every floor. You sew really well. reach out to your network and start a weekend sewing club for your colleagues kids.
You make the coolest hand made jewelry with beads and stones etc, hunny get cracking with those designs, move with them everywhere you go and sell those charms. Look, my point is “WHAT YOU GONA DO WITH WHAT YOU GOT?” .
Be-careful and dont get lost in the rat race – infact dont even join it. ” Keeping Up With The ……….” ndezvemuTV sha. Iwe just #keepyourfocus and #LetNoOneTakeYourJoy.
Life indeed is what you make out of it , but the best life I believe is when you live it on your terms. Its just that simple .
Have a great productive week ahead and #LiveYourBestLife always0
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