By Nyaradzo Group
She depicts boldness and confidence
Sahwira Wear is the new kid on the block, engaging all people from different walks of life. Clients, friends, and family continue to showcase how they can accessorise and bring out life through Sahwira Wear. It depicts boldness, confidence, and loyalty thus giving emphasis to the Nyaradzo brand.
We are amazed by the images captured at the various events and also those they have shared with us wearing Nyaradzo regalia. The different designs using the branded wrap show how we should celebrate our differences and make a rainbow out of them.
In this special edition issue, we showcase our local celebrities who are serving as our “advocates” and have joined the latest trend by adorning Nyaradzo regalia. We feature a one-on-one interview with Madam Boss. Sahwira Wear for everyone, everywhere!!
Tarisai Chikocho “Madam Boss” TALKS about living life in the spotlight and her new acting roles
Who is Tyra?
My name is Tarisai Cleopatra Chikocho Munetsiwa, a mother of one beautiful daughter, Mikayla Munetsiwa, and married to an amazing husband, Ngonidzashe Mhofela Munetsiwa. I am from a Christian background. I love junk food and don’t enjoy fancy cuisines. I was born and bred in Harare, Glen View, and moved to the villages, Madziva and Masvingo, at a later stage in life. I am originally from Malawi, though I’ve never had time to visit. I am the fifth child in a family of 6.
Do you get used to being a celebrity?
I was super excited the very first days. I couldn’t wait to have people ask for a selfie with me. I would deliberately walk in the densely-populated areas so that people could see me, but that has all changed. The challenges of being a celebrity are that our fans have a way of linking us with the past regardless of the fact that you have long since left that lifestyle and you will be judged as such. Being a celebrity also puts your innocent loved ones at risk of being attacked and criticized; for example, you hear people say: “Mhofela vakadyiswa vakapusa”, though we support and understand each other. I’m getting to the point where I’m kicking myself for getting involved in the celebrity game.
Recount the history behind the name “Madam Boss”?
Originally, I’m a gospel artist, so sometime back I was invited by ZBC to a show, Good-morning Zimbabwe, for an interview. The questions were all in English and me being me, I failed to articulate my answers and the interview was a mess as I responded with broken English, much to the embarrassment of my family members. So one day, my brother-in-law, Mhofu’s little brother, offered to teach me. We did a mock interview in which I again had difficulties.
I then recorded the video and shared it in a few Whatsapp groups, emphasizing to all those aspiring to be celebrities that they should be fluent in English to avoid embarrassment. The video went viral and because it had some sensitive content, I was admonished by a number of people and my advisor suggested we do damage control by pretending that I am a comedian. We then did another clip and many others followed, where I started imitating my previous bosses (as I had worked as a maid), my mother-in-law, and many others. I then created a Facebook page and named it Tyra Chikocho, but one fan commented that I was a bully and that I should be called Madam Boss, so I adopted the moniker.
If you weren’t famous, what would you be up to right now?
I would have been a full-time housewife to my beloved Mhofela. I have never seen myself as someone who could run a business. Remember, I’m not qualified to do anything because I didn’t finish school, so I’m not a hustler by nature.
What/Who inspired you to get you into acting?
Locally, I get inspiration from Mr. Mataranyika. He is one person that has challenged me in the way he works. He could have decided to concentrate on his ever-growing empire, but he took time to rope us in and help us as artists, especially during the COVID pandemic lockdown. He has given us a platform to shine and showcase our talent to the world. We greatly appreciate how he has helped us unite as artists and work together. Secondly, Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa, the way she handles herself. Despite all the drama and scandals linked to her, she remains strong and resolute. She has a very professional work ethic.
She is the one who took me through the ropes at the beginning of my acting career, introduced me to various stakeholders. She also taught me to handle the brand well so that it could attract other bigger brands for associations. She also taught me how to respond to social media attacks. Internationally, I’m inspired by Beyoncé Knowles. She’s married, but she’s a lot of fun. She is pretty much hated by many, but she minds her own business.
What is your creative process like?
The life I lived and the life I see revolving around my family. I also take time to watch what other people are doing in different countries worldwide. I take a piece from them and bring it home. Cross mingling cultures and ideas.
How do you mentally handle yourself when you get social media outbursts?
I have learned from my role model, Ruvheneko, to mind my own business. I just keep quiet and take constructive criticism while ignoring negative comments.
What event made you consider becoming an actor/actress and abandon singing?
For me, singing was more of a job, where I was looking at earning a living through shows. I then incorporated skits and acting while singing, and after weighing the two, I discovered that acting was more fun, easy, and paid better than singing. I didn’t stop singing entirely, but I’m now focusing more on acting. I’m releasing singles and I recently did a collaboration with Tocky Vibes, Vanonditaura. I may go back to singing when I get older and mature.
Has stardom changed you?
Yes, I have changed, pretty much owing to it to social media. I can say I’m no longer living a normal life. Generally, our fans expect us to live a certain life, and that in itself is pressure. I can’t even get into a shop and buy a small item, I end up buying a trolley full or even taking my daughter to a general hospital. I’m forced to go to high premium medical centres to match the life which Madam Boss has set for me. Especially after the regional tour I did, the brand is now international, and we are then forced to live as such regardless of our personal circumstances.
It’s a call out to the industry forefathers as well to look out for our upkeep. In other countries, artists are well taken care of. It could be subsidised medical aid or general upkeep, so as to keep up with the set standard.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Regardless of the success, Madam Boss might have at the moment, I would give anything to have had an opportunity to go to school. Please attend school, excel academically, and then pursue your dream or passion. It’s one thing to be talented and it’s another thing to be talented and learned. You may fail to make it without school, though I have “done it”. Nurture your talent as you go up. Don’t pay heed to all critics, some give constructive criticism, but others can destroy you. Though we love criticism as others say the truth.
You have been globe-trotting Africa, Nigeria, and RSA to be precise, where you landed an international acting role in South African SABC 1’s new telenovela, uBettina Wethu. Tell us about it?
For Nigeria, I would like to thank Dr Henry Obidi, a renowned author and filmmaker. He is known by one of my sisters, Edith Chibamu. When I was sick, she called Dr. Obidi to pray for me and from there we established a relationship. There that’s where I was then called through. The TV series is called “The Offsprings” and I feature as an expatriate Zimbabwean in Nigeria who owns a very busy restaurant. I had the opportunity to work with Prince Kosoko, who was born to a royal family of Lagos Island, and is a celebrated Nigerian actor and film director and has 57 years of experience in the film industry and Adesanya, a multi-award winning actress with 35 years of experience in the film industry.
Then, for South Africa, I did a clip for a “Netflix Video Challenge” and posted it on my Tik-Tok account which many people found exciting but not my fellow Zimbabweans. The clip landed in the hands of Becky Casting Agents in South Africa and they were excited and sent me an invite to be part of the agency. They sent me a number of scripts and though I failed to make the cut for roles in shows like Scandal and Rhythm City, I finally landed a role in the telenovela Ubettina Wethu. I play Aminata, a self-assured woman who aspires to inspire plus-size women to be confident in their bodies and to teach them that they can wear whatever they want and to disregard body shamers.
Are you planning to be in any other movies?
Hollywood is calling me [chuckles]. There is a lot in the pipeline. Come August, there is something cooking. We are yet to make an announcement.
How do you cope with being away from home for long periods?
I’ve made up my mind that this is pretty much the peak of my career and therefore I have to do what’s best for the brand for now. It is a good thing my family is quite supportive and understanding through it all. The time will come for me to settle down. At the very least, we have the internet to help with the long distance.
What’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself as a filmmaker or movie producer either way. I would want to assist women who are trying to venture into the film industry. Generally, as women, we face a lot of challenges and obstacles along the way because it’s a male-dominated industry. I aspire to be like Tyler Perry.
Kindly share your relationship with Nyaradzo?
It’s been an excellent journey with my Sahwira. Nyaradzo indeed has been a true Sahwira to me. It’s now a family relationship and not even the sky is the limit. I have learned a lot from the relationship and I would like to thank Mr. Mataranyika and his amazing team for allowing our brand to associate with theirs. I can only say: Munhu wese kuna Sahwira.
If you could pass on one message to your fans, what message would that be?
I love you so much and thank you for supporting the Madam Boss brand and to keep supporting the brand. Kindly respond to the skits I do so that I keep getting paid. If I post a Nyaradzo clip, please go get a policy. If you support Nyaradzo, you support the Madam Boss brand.