Nomashawekazi Michelle Sangiweyinkosi Damasane, aka Lady Tshawe, is not your typical female artiste content with playing supportive roles to established gurus in the entertainment and arts industry.
Lady Tshawe, wants to be her own person and does not believe that by virtue of being a woman, she needs to be afforded privileges so as to make it to the top of the cutthroat industry.
“My works make me realise that l can do it bigger and better and I am grateful to the Almighty God,” she told Southern Eye Woza Weekend in an exclusive interview this week.
Despite a glowing CV which has seen her perform at the National University of Science and Technology graduation ceremony before President Robert Mugabe and featuring in several plays at Rhodes University, South Africa, where she graduated with a BA degree in Drama and Ethnomusicology and has published, sung, acted and written groundbreaking artistic products and projects, she has largely maintained a low profile.
Those that have worked with her have had no qualms in pointing out that her artistic expression and image embody her abilities, aspirations and achievements as a musician, poet, writer, dancer, actress and creative thinker, all wrapped in one.
They are also quick to note that Lady Tshawe exhibited exceptional talent and distinguished herself with her unique versatility during the early stages of her career while at primary school.
Her convictions and views about equal opportunities for self-expression which have influenced her writing, theatrical roles, music and conversations, are well-known by those that have worked with her and are close to her such as Thobekile Nleya, Gilmore T Moyo, just to mention a few.
An ardent and unapologetic advocate for self-expression, Lady Tshawe is not shy to speak her mind.
“God has given me the strength and vision to fulfil my dreams. I appreciate my works and they have put me on a competitive platform and made me believe in myself and realise that nothing is impossible with God.
“I am woman. I am woman not created out of dust, but created from inside of you, taken from your rib not to be controlled, trampled on and misused by you.
“Rather I am to be by your side and be loved, cared for and protected by you. I need not fear. You are there with me,” she added.
She says the sky is the limit in her line of work which has seen her being roped in as part of artistes pencilled to perform during the opening ceremony of the Region 5 Youth Games which start in Bulawayo next Thursday.
Born on June 18 1990, Lady Tshawe grew up in Parklands, but now stays in Morningside in Bulawayo.
She attended SOS for primary education before Petra High School where she cut her teeth in the arts industry.
The first born in a family of two girls, Lady Tshawe is the daughter of Paul and Sibongile Damasane, but has not let the fame of her highly politically connected parents distract her.
Her visions is: “To be the breath of fresh air and wave of light in the performing, entertainment and research sectors globally by producing and presenting groundbreaking material content and performances.”
Asked how she juggled her roles, she said: “It is just natural. There are times where l go to church (Family of God), spend time with my family then the arts.
So it’s family, church then lastly arts. I got my inspiration from the relationships which l make with people l socialise with, people l work with, these inspire me and above all Dudu Manhenga, my younger sister and Saimon Mambazo Phiri have also inspired me.”