DEEP in Nkayi’s Dimpamiwa area, in Matabeleland North Province, a South African hip hop musician by the name Gigi Lamayne was “lying low”, recharging her batteries.
Gigi Lamayne, real name Genesis Gabriella Tina Manney, was in Zimbabwe to see her relatives. Her mother, Sarah, is from Bulawayo.

She was not in Bulawayo, but in Nkayi, at her grandmother’s homestead.

She was pictured barefooted, dressed in an intsaro (wrapping cloth), feeding chickens and grinding sorghum with a wooden pestle and wooden mortar, while soaking in Zimbabwean weather.

And no, she did not bump into internet sensation Sikhosana Buhlungu as the two are more than 20km apart.

This sabbatical, according to Gigi Lamayne, is very important for her as it takes her away from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg and all its intricacies. It is not the first time that Gigi has been in Zimbabwe as she has deep roots in the country.

Gigi Lamayne has made a name for herself in the male-dominated hip-hop industry. In July she released a star-studded album, Mermaids and Stuff, which was aimed at promoting female hip-hop artistes in South Africa,She left Bulawayo on Friday for her base in Johannesburg, where she is starting her role as a host of Tik Tok, South Africa’s music chart show.

Gigi Lamayne is also an ambassador for Silapha Foundation, which educates artistes on issues such as drug abuse and the law.

Before she left, Saturday Leisure spoke to Gigi Lamayne about her visit to Zimbabwe.

“I’m a child of Zimbabwean soil. My mother is from Zimbabwe, and I say that very proudly because I believe that’s why I’m very diverse in my writing. I grew up in South Africa and I come back to Zimbabwe to try and connect with my family and to recharge. Unfortunately, it’s been a tough time in the world right now with Covid. So, just to come home and to pay respects to my own family who have left, affected by Covid.

“Every time I’ve been here it’s always been a holiday kind of thing, and I’m hoping that I could eventually come here and do something creative, when this Covid thing is over and the restrictions are done. Also, I’ve come here to see some amazing people who have contributed to my career, right here in kwaBulawayo,” said Gigi Lamayne.

She said she loves Bulawayo, a city she realised had so much music talent.

“I love how earthy and natural that everything feels in Bulawayo when I breathe in the air, I feel it’s not toxic. I was in eNkayi yesterday and I’m in Burnside now. I was in Nkulumane and I’ve got family in Nketa. I feel just so amazed to get to really know about the culture of young people. And I know that there’s this energy around music right now.

I have heard about the young people on Skyz Metro FM. And I’m thinking there’s so much amazing talent,” said Gigi Lamayne.

Gigi Lamayne said the city reminded her of the late Cal_Vin, who she collaborated with some years ago on the track Capo di Tutti Capi, which means, boss of all bosses.

She described him as a ‘phenomenal’ artiste.

“So, the last person I did a collaboration with was with Cal_Vin. Obviously, there’s Jah Prayzah and Makhadzi on Madhakutswa. The one I recall all the time when we speak about Bulawayo, has to be Cal_Vin. He was a phenomenal artiste, he believed in so much of the young Ndebele person growing up in a difficult society. He was proud of who he was repping his city, and I felt it all the time.

That collaboration was something that was planned, as we wanted to do music together. He was such an amazing soul and I think he lives in the music with the people he collaborated with as well as the people who looked up to him and his community. So, I’m grateful that I could really say that I could work with him,” said Gigi Lamayne.

In July, Gigi Lamayne revealed that she had completed her journey as a Sangoma, saying it was pleasing to see young people being traditional healers. Television personality, influencer and business woman, Boity Thulo and Media

Personality Masechaba Ndlovu are among the most recognisable personalities who have declared that they are sangomas.

Gigi Lamayne said from both her father’s and mother’s side, there was a lineage of traditional healers.

“I help people though my music, through my consultations that I do on Instagram live. I’m feeling super blessed that I have been chosen with this calling in such a big world where there’s so much turmoil and destruction, but God puts you there to be a light to young people.

“We were chosen as young people as young healers to come in and do the work of our ancestors because the world was becoming the way it was. So, when you see the surge of young healers and prophets and sangomas and inyanga coming up, don’t judge but understand that this is probably the reawakening of the African voice. One that was long overdue and let’s support each other and it makes me happy when I hear that there are people who delve into this.

Not as healers but as scholars,” said Gigi Lamayne. Chronicle