The Sunday News
CAROLE Nyakudya is just not any other gospel singer. Sure, she has earned her stripes in the industry.
In 2005 she was already hailed as one of the genre’s most powerful voices, even snatching a much-coveted Nama award nomination with her debut effort, This is Now.
With that album, she had added her voice to that most unique of choirs, the choir of those whose every chorus is dedicated to healing the wounded with the sweet melodies of gospel.
But for Nyakudya, that was not the start of her journey as a healer. Her real journey had started five years before that recognition by the country’s most prestigious award ceremony.
Born in Zimbabwe in 1978, Nyakudya joined the great trek to the United Kingdom in 1997 after having spent her childhood and teens in the country of her birth, she attended St Dominic’s Chishawasha and Nagle House Convent schools before moving to the UK.
It was in the land of the Queen, where she joined that country’s much celebrated National Health Service that Nyakudya’s journey as a healer well and truly took off.
“My late mother had to deal with mental health issues and an aunt of mine who was already in the UK when I came here in 1997 thought it was a course that would resonate with me. I looked it up and felt it was definitely the right thing to do. Before that I’d harboured thoughts of doing Law,” she told Sunday Life.
Nyakudya, said that she “has a deep sense of compassion and commitment towards people in need of emotional and psychological support, and makes use of her array of skills and resources to empower the”, worked in the National Health Service (NHS), a comprehensive public-health service under government administration in the United Kingdom, between 2000 and 2016 in various positions rising through middle and senior management.
Nyakudya said she wanted “to equip people with quality mental health care to make
informed and healthy decisions about themselves, their relationships and their future”.
Before she had to equip others however, Nyakudya had to equip herself and the best place to do that was in the classroom. Nyakudya now holds a Diploma in Mental Health Nursing attained at Birmingham University, Bsc in Health Studies at Wolverhampton
University and an Msc in Public Health & Health Development attained at Birmingham City University. She underwent business and entrepreneurship training at the Birmingham City University after being seconded for the European Union’s Bseen program.
Following her studies, she gained further experience within a Mental Health Intensive Care Unit where she was involved in the management and treatment of individuals with complex, high acuity and severe behavioural disturbances associated with mental health illness.
Nyakudya went on to work within a Forensic Psychiatric Unit, working with criminal offenders as well as with victims of crime. She also gained experience working with people struggling with eating disorders.
Her stellar work as a mental health professional however, is only one of two strings in her bow. As a gospel musician, Nyakudya has also excelled, boasting a string of several high profile award nominations.
Her single Keep On, was recently launched with Nyakudya signalling her intention to also initiate a mobile application that helps with snap counselling and an SOS pad for people dealing with mental health issues, drug dependence, general anxiety, depression and emotional health. She is also a TV presenter.
She has had to learn to strike a balance between these various aspects of her life.
“Over the years I’ve had to learn to manage my time quite well. If you’re going to strike a balance you’ve got to be disciplined with time. It also helps that on the work front I’ve a capable team that I trust so much. So, that gives me a bit of latitude to also do music and my television presenting on the side.
With Zimbabweans going through tough times economically, she pointed out the importance projects such as hers were the desire for personal glory is forsaken in order to fight for the collective good.
“The issue of Zimbabwe and the issue of our nation has been long pressing on my heart as someone that is concerned about humanitarian issues and about the person of a Zimbabwean, whether at home or in the diaspora. We are a great people, a great nation that must have great expectation. This song and my offering of music is one to encourage you and me and to encourage us as Zimbabweans, encourage us as Africans in general and to give the notion that we can and we will and whatever that we may face our destination will be fulfilled”
It was this dire situation, which she witnessed first-hand when she was in the country, that inspired her latest project.
“I thought as I rebranded myself, it would be a good thing to release this track for free to ensure everyone going through a difficult time like I was or like Zimbabwe is, gets an opportunity to drown in my words of encouragement. It is also important for my fans and friends to sample my new sound. I will be releasing a full album sometime next year,” she said
A jack of a lot of trades and a master of most of them, Nyakudya is a presenter at
Zimbo Live TV while she is also a published writer, having co-authored the book Beyond the scars – Real life accounts of women who overcame adversity.