As l lazily scrolled through Facebook one day, l came across a video and was so moved by this young lady’s voice that l knew I had to speak to her. Chipo Muchegwa was born without arms and has short limbs, but this has not deterred her from making her mark in the music industry.
She shares her story with The Weight She Carries.
“My name is Chipo Muchegwa, a 30-year-old mother of one. l live in Norton but originally hail from Mt. Darwin. My mother passed when l was eight, so it’s just me and my brother now with me being the youngest.
After my mum passed, my aunt took care of me and still does to this day. She is the mother l have known and l am grateful for her because she never treated me any differently from her children. I still think of my mom though. When she passed away, it was a painful experience. l often yearn to have my mother around especially when other [people] call their mothers “mama.” l wish I could do the same and always wonder how different life would be with her around.
l attended Jairos Jiri School and had no problems there since we were all disabled. No one bullied the other but instead we [looked out for] each other.
Information Technology piqued my interest but I did not complete it because l did not have math. It’s when l went to Ruwa Rehabilitation Center that l met my current manager who, after hearing me sing, encouraged me to record my music.
l recorded my first single titled ‘Ndizvo Zvandiri’ which means ‘this is who l am.’ There is more music that l have released since then and my supporters are asking for a full album, which l am working on.
Among the many things l am grateful for it is the birth of my daughter in 2020. The pregnancy had no major complications apart from gestational high blood pressure, which got me admitted into hospital quite a few times. She has no disability and that for me is something l am grateful for. Even though her father and l are not together, he is fully present and active in her life.
When l move around, people tend to stare, which l used to find uncomfortable before. But now, because of my music, l have chosen to take advantage of the attention in order to put my music out there to gain traction in the industry.
In 2021, the town of Norton recognised my work by awarding me the “Arts Personality of the Year,” which showed that l was on the right path.
I attribute my strength to being a person who never backs down from a challenge. Even though I am disabled, I do most of my work using my feet and have even taught myself to play “mbira” by using my feet.
My daughter also gives me the energy to get up in the morning and work. I want her to look up to me and at the same time inspire her to be the best version of herself. She has to learn that although l may be disabled, l can do a lot of things myself with minimal assistance.
I look forward to greater things in the future and working hard to release more music and visuals in the near future.