The mbira, a thumb piano that has been played in Africa for thousands of years and now included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, produces a unique sound – as moving as it is exhilarating. Like her fellow Zimbabwean, Stella Chiweshe, Chipo Nyambiya is one of the few women who play this magical instrument. Confident, positive and determined, she is a performer whose soaring voice exposes her genuine nature. A graduate of Great Zimbabwe University in musicology, her folk-pop songs are really about bringing people together.
Alice Chipo Nyambiya is a musician, instrumentalist, model and actress who goes by the stage name Chipo Nyambiya. She plays the mbira and the kalimba, traditional Zimbabwean instruments.
Her passion for music goes back to childhood. At age 9, she joined her school choir while in third grade. She studied music for many years and earned a degree in musicology and ethno-choreography.
“I like music so much that I had dreams, plans and visions of becoming a musician while still very young,” she says. “My greatest gift from God was to go to Great Zimbabwe University and to join its brass band. From that point onwards, the passion intensified, so much so that I told myself I had to be serious about any opportunity that came my way.”
She performed with the Team Fusion band from 2016 to 2018 and toured in many African countries. In Zimbabwe, the band played at many festivals, including the Harare International Festival of the Arts, and shared the stage with great artists such as Jah Prayzah, Hope Masike, the late Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo.
In 2018, Chipo represented Zimbabwe in the United States at the World Championships of Performing Arts.