Music lyrical hustling in hip hop, often referred to as rapping, has mostly been seen as a male domain with just a handful females breaking.
When one talks of female rappers the names that come to the gore include Foxy Brown and TLC’s Left Eye in a musical domain dominated by the likes of 50 Cent, Snoopy Dog, AKA in South Africa, Winky Dee in Zimbabwe.
Out of the mountains of the Kingdom of Swaziland, the vibes and the airwaves prepares Malawi, if not Africa at large, to celebrate one of their own melodious voiced female flesh and blood who has rocked the radio playlists and dance floors.
Twenty-four years out of a hospital in Blantyre, Rejoice Banda was born to the now deceased parents who nurtured her music passion and one would imagine the sweet melodies that flowed out their kitchen as the little girl honed the music that would give her fame today.
They might not have lived to see that fame from their daughter, but buried somewhere on the Malawi soils, they would probably smile at the news that their product is rocking airwaves in foreign land.
With singles hits I Do My Thing, which is an electro dance rap song, The Power Of Love a slow jam riding on R&b sound and an Afro-Pop dance song Celebrate, Banda whose stage name is Reedivah Queen is scaling greater heights.
In an interview recently re-lived her youth and the journey plucked her the miseries of being an orphan, to staying with her grandmother—a 24 year old journey of over a thousand miles via Zimbabwe.
“Reedivah Queen is my stage name which simply means the female hustler. My mama used to refer to me as a Queen…which is why I had to give myself such stage name surname.
“Rejoice Banda is my birth name originated from Blantyre, Malawi. Since my dad passed away we had to move to Zimbabwe in 1997 where my mother’s relatives were before my mother passed away as well.
“I had to stay with my grandparents. My grandmother had a huge passion for music. She even graduated as a choir master. So, she influenced us as when we were growing up.
“I used to sing solos in church and never had stage fright as a kid. I used to sing every time I had to do my chores. The love for music grew and grew up until I moved to Swaziland.
She says the “tri-nations” upbringing exposed her to the vast life of African cultures, traversely building her music career.
“Today I like visiting African countries and this shaped up my music. While in Swaziland, I resumed singing solos in church up until I heard of a youth club through a radio programme.
“I knew I had to join so as to expand my vision in music. I met an artist named Sparrow and we collaborated my first track. I was thrilled to be in the studio and was even happy to eventually perform in front of an audience,” said Banda.
An interaction with youths led to the birth of De Shinely Queens after meeting Shinely Greens.
“That is where I met a girl called Shinely Greens. We clicked and eventually became friends and music partners as well. We came up our duo group name De Shinely Queens from our individual stage names.
“We wanted to be the first girls in Swaziland who do R&B and hip-hop. We both sing and rap as well. I have no doubt that we know what we doing. Since other male rappers around here salute us.
“When we are on the stage we definitely steal the show. The crowd adore us since we don’t only sing but complement our voices superbly with sublime dances as well.
“Our singles have received generous airplay and gotten the our audiences during concerts. The radio presenters know us and play our music.
“Last year we were helping a guy called Skylerk with his mixtape which has since been launched. As for now we are planning to go to South Africa and up our game by making videos and possibly break onto the TV screens,” added Banda.
Reedivah relocated to Swaziland in 2010 and got into the music industry in 2014 and draws some inspiration from Whitney Houston, Ciara and Nicky Minaj.
With such a dream only focus will break the Hip pop male dominance and cast down the biblical walls of Jericho before the world rises to salute the new queens of hip pop from Southern Africa.