In Conversation with: Voko

Voko- Zimbabwean Actress

Voko is a young lady in her early 20’s, the name VOKO is her grandfather’s name but her real name is Racheal Ncube. She is a zealous and active lady who doesn’t rest till she gets what she wants. She believes she is an asset to the current generation and the generations to come. Voko is an artist, actress, poet, singer, an author and a radio personality. Recently she published her poetry anthology “…From These Poetic Pieces” under Bolelo Publishers. Besides that, Voko also performs in a lot of places and she is quiet involved with a lot of projects including Humor for Social Change which is for youths for innovation trust in partnership with Umahlekisa comedy club.

Voko is part of a poetry program called ‘amadramatics which airs live on Skyz Metro FM every Sunday. Apart from that, the young actress acted in a short film ‘American Dollar’ and currently working on a movie ‘Changes’ with motion pulse visuals. She has acted in theatre plays called ‘Talita Koum’ and ’Someone Lied’ with ‘Victory Siyanqoba’. Currently she is doing a project with Mountain Peak under Tsoka and working on a theatre play ‘ISSUES’. She once was a radio presenter at Charisma Radio which broadcasted on DSTV Channel 1043. There is a fortnight show called #HERWEDNSDAY where she interviews female artists. She has performed with several poets including Madpoet, Joel Jokonia, Sikapila, Onesimo Ngcotsha and many more. Also, with recorded a musical track ‘LUPHI UTHANDO’ with Sikapila from Vic falls and Joel Jokonia from Bulawayo. Voko has appeared on ZBC for poetry and other issues several times.

Where did your passion for writing come from and how did you get into poetry?

My passion started when I was in secondary school. I was a drama club chair lady and Mr D Cheza the patron would say ‘asihlanganiseni amajodo’ meaning let’s all put our minds together to come up with a play. From then on, I started to see it was easy to write about things then I started to develop a passion for it. Seeing other people performing poetry led me into digging deeper to see if I could do it as well since I had the knowledge of writing plays. I discovered that I could but then my poetry became a different story because, well I do it because I love it and I enjoy it and I can, but the main reason is because to me poetry is a calling.

How do you choose what you want to write about? 

When it comes to writing, as I said that to me it’s a calling, I don’t just write out of a blue. I sit and relax to see if there is anything to write about till something touching and inspiring is revealed to me physically or spiritually. In one piece/poem one will find out that I have mixed 3 to 4 scenarios and combine them as one. I see writing as a gate way out of many issues

How did you get into acting and presenting? 

Acting, I started when I was at Secondary school as one of the students who thought they could do anything. I joined the drama club when I was in form 3 then form 4 I was elected to be the chairlady. I continued acting through high school level where I fell in the hands of Mr W Nyika the patron and again form 6 I was elected to be the Hamilton high drama club chairlady. The journey continued till I got to meet big people in the industry like Tsoka, Tembo and Moyoxide for theatre, film and movie acting.

Voko - Zimbabwean Poet

What inspired you to join Humour for Social Change? 

Thando Gwinji inspired me to join the Humor for Social Change project. Actually, it didn’t come as an inspiration, it appeared as a gap that I was given to uplift my arts career.

Who are your favourite creatives? 

My favourite creatives are Nomonde Sky and Mary Queen of Scots from the series’ Reign’.

What was it like working on your poetry anthology and how many poems are in the collection?

My anthology ‘…From these Poetic Pieces’ with 24 poems, it was not easy to complete it, getting people to edit it and criticisms from people it was just something else. At the end of it all I knew what I wanted, and I got to understand that visions are different and the purpose for writing is different that’s why people will react however to your writing.

Who has played a major role in nurturing your career?

Myself. I’ve played a major role in nurturing my career. I’m still working myself up. I am not yet at a point of getting someone to mentor me, I feel like I’m not ready. When I am, I will approach one or two people to mentor me.

Given the resources, what is the one project you would like to start?

Given resources, one project I would like to start is creating space for the disabled. I noticed they are less considered when it comes to performance platforms. So, if there are resources, I will do a project for them so that they are able to perform in hotels, schools etc. I would also get them a platform in the local TV station/radio stations, so they broadcast live and show their capabilities- the keyboardists, drummers, musicians etc.

Can you describe what it felt like to win your BAA award?

Winning the BAA award was a great experience. It’s something I didn’t even expect especially in a big city like Bulawayo where everyone is putting their best in art. I mean I wasn’t even thinking I’m going to get it considering the competition I was only thanking God that at least I made it to the nominees list.

If you were to choose just one to do for the rest of your life which one would it be, being an actress, poet, singer, writer, presenter?

If I were to choose it would be writing. If I’m to write, I can write my poetry, I can write a script that can be acted even by other characters, I can write a song to be sung by someone or myself, I can write a script for a presenter – it’s not about me delivering but it doesn’t matter who delivers.

What is your theme for the year?

My theme for this year is ‘Either way there has to be a way’.

Of all the projects you have worked on which one are you proudest of?

Of all the projects I have worked I’m so proud of Humor for Social Change. It expanded my talent because now I can also do comedy because in this project, I met comedians like Zwe, Ntando Van and Miss Dee. I got to meet a lot of artists from within and out of Bulawayo. Through this project I have managed to meet and exchange words with local leaders such as the MP’s, Cllrs and many other people.

What work/projects from you we should be on the lookout for in 2020?

2020, a house track ‘ubaba wami’, my Ndebele poetry anthology and my motivational book of 15 topics should be expected from me.

What is your favourite song? 

My favourite song is the one from Pastor Uvie (PU)- Moving On To Greater Heights- this song describes me a lot because I don’t rest till I get what I want, I believe in moving on and moving higher.

How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as that Voko who kept her grandfather’s name alive, I would like to be remembered as a community engager and an icon to most female artists who think they can’t make it big in this life.

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