Dudu Manhenga

Child of God | Mother | Communicator | Creative, Social Entrepreneur

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Dudu Manhenga | Zimbabwe

Born on 6 January 1981, DUDU MANHENGA is a dynamic young Zimbabwean singer/songwriter who is a household name and much-loved in Zimbabwe. Her style is influenced by great African and jazz singers, and the dignity of her delivery is a credit to her and to her country, wherever she goes.

Her music has been accurately described as ‘an afro jazz adventure’ - a fusion of genres: afro, contemporary, Zimbabwe traditional, township, jazz, Latino, and a cultural cross-over of Zimbabwe’s Manica, Mashona and Matabele rhythms and melodies, with energetic stage work, and sizzling vocals. Dudu has been performing professionally since the age of 16. She grew from the Amakhosi Cultural Centre in her hometown Bulawayo, which encouraged and facilitated her development in the arts. She joined her first band at a young age, and later moved on to her first afrojazz encounter with the band ‘Siyeza’, where she was groomed and exposed to the music of great African singers such as Dorothy Masuka, Letta Mbulu, Thembi Mtshali and Miriam Makeba.

Seizing every opportunity to develop in the arts, in 1999 she took part in an arts workshop that introduced her to the capital city, Harare, where she later studied at the Zimbabwe College of Music. After growing and learning as backing vocalist for several top artists including Oliver Mtukudzi, Steve Dyer, Louis Mhlanga, and Tanga Wekwa Sando, Dudu emerged as a strong leader and carved her place on the Zimbabwean music scene with the formation of the group Color Blu in 2001, along with her husband and partner, drummer Blessing Muparutsa.

By 2012 Dudu had gained a big following and recorded 5 albums - all warmly received by music-lovers of Zimbabwe, and selling like hotcakes on tour. At home, Dudu performs widely in clubs, concerts, corporate gatherings and festivals. She leads a great worship team at Jubilee Christian Centre in Harare. Beyond Zimbabwe’s borders she has performed in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Swaziland, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy and Serbia; often sharing the stage or actively collaborating with big names such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Dorothy Masuka, Tanga Wekwa Sando (Zimbabwe); Judith Sephuma, Ray Phiri, Jimmy Dludlu, the late Jabu Khanyile, Ernie Smith, Ringo, Gang of Instrumentals, Kwani Experience, Mpumie Twala, Ndithini Mbali (South Africa); Kunle Ayo (Nigeria), Chameleon (Uganda), Mingas, Chicco Antonio, Ivo Maia, Ivan Mazuze (Mozambique); Erik Paliani (Malawi), Lokua Kanza (DRC), Karl Ritter (Austria) and many, many more.

Dudu Manhenga toured in Italy in 2011, with 16 performances in various cities, and again in 2012, which included a special performance for Pope Benedict XVI, where she received the ‘Italian 25th Grand Prix Award for Social Communication’. In Zimbabwe, Dudu is considered a world-class act who has graced many stages, and worked with all people from grassroots level to the highest social circles, and good airplay of her music has made her a household name and loved by many. Beyond Zimbabwe’s borders, she has been welcomed by audiences all over the region.

Dudu the author

This acclaimed contributor to the rich music history of Zimbabwe who for more than twenty years she has performed for the people of Zimbabwe, from its humblest to its highest, filled the airwaves, and brought dignity and respect to Zimbabwe in her travels in the world beyond our borders. A mother, daughter, sister, she is a vibrant activist in defence of the poor and voiceless; and a strong supporter of women everywhere. She is a powerful worshipper and prayer warrior; a tiller of the earth who cultivates her gardens to share food with the poor. As a singer, lyricist and composer, Dudu's words have reached the world through music.Now, beyond the stage, her voice turns to the pages of the written word. She quotes the Psalmist: “My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skilful writer.” Psalm 45:1


3NotKord -Questions, Assumptions and Conclusions
3NotKord -Past, Present Future.
His Daughters-Devotional


Karl Ritter (Austria), Chicco Antonio (Mozambique), WoCalling (Zim/Norway), Mingas (Mozambique), Mpumie Twala and Ndithini Mbali (South Africa), Ivo Maia (Mozambique), African Rhythms of Worship, Gospel collaboration (Zimbabwe), Olufemi (Nigeria), Velaphi, Strings n Skins, BCUC Bantu Music, T.h.o.t.s. (South Africa), Paolo Frezu, Max De Aloe, Gino Paoli, Paolo Conte, Rafael Casarano (Italy); African Rhythms of Worship, Gospel album collaboration (Zimbabwe).


2007 - JULA
2013 – FOR YOU



Recorded collaborations

2005-AFROW (African Rhythms Of Worship) COLLABORATION 2006- FAMBA ZVAKANAKA (IOM safe journey campaign)
2008-FEYA FEYA Campaign
2009- HUNGER FREE, MUSIC FOR FREEDOM AND JUSTICE CAMPAIGN (featuring 20 Africa countries)
2011-DON’T BE A STRANGER (Sweden)
2014- GHANA/ZIMBABWE (Together with Okyeame Kwame, Elivava, Blakk Rasta and Bernard Amankwah)

In addition to this Dudu has featured on a number of local artists’ recordings and has lent her voice towards many causes.


• Nominee best jazz artist-ZIMA awards 2007
• Nominee Ndichirimupenyu Arts service award -2010
• Diplomat of the Year Award for Outstanding contribution by non-diplomat-Second Runner-Up 2011
• Award winner 25 Grand Prix Advertising Strategies-Premio Communicazione e Impegno Sociale 2012 (Social Communication Award, Italy)
• 2012 Victor’s Award, Best Female Artist


Dudu is active in music rights and anti-piracy issues, gender and anti-violence activities.She spearheads or participates in many community-based activities for poverty-alleviation, people living with HIV-Aids, and the protection and nurturing of the girl child. Some of the productions she’s been involved in are the ‘Famba Zvakanaka’ (IOM safe journey campaign), Action Aid’s ‘Hunger Free, Music for Freedom and Justice 2009’, The British Council’s ‘Power in the Voice’ among others. She is a major contributor to the FLAME (Female Literary Arts Music Enterprise) programme, for the development and promotion of women artists into the mainstream of the arts, which is run by Harare-based arts organization Pamberi Trust. She has facilitated and participated in dozens of workshops for FLAME, and assists the programme as a consultant for development of programmes. In 2010 she headed the first FLAME Regional Tour, a scintillating collaboration with leading women artists of southern Africa – Mingas (Mozambique), Mpumie Twala and Ndithini Mbali (South Africa) who performed at 6 shows at four venues in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. In collaboration with other established women artists of Zimbabwe, Dudu has participated as performer, speaker and workshop facilitator in the annual '16 Days Programme' in Harare since 2007, joining the global campaign ‘16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women’. She also worked with FLAME to help Women’s Action Group with the roll-out of their Non-Violence Toolkit, with thousands of women in high-density suburbs of Harare. She also works with Zimbabwe Music Rights Association and other service providers in the industry to raise industry standards.

Video + audio links

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Bookings: dudu.manhenga@live.com
Call: +263 (0)772 340 215
Skype: dudu. manhenga1

Dudu Manhenga: Regional & International Performances

2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 - Grahams town Arts Festival, South Africa
2006, Women in Arts Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa
2007, Arts Alive Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa
2008, Friends Forever Danish Tour - 7 cities, Denmark
2008, Beira Jazz Festival, Mozambique – with United Nations
2009, Collaboration with Mingas, Maputo, Mozambique

May – Centro Cultural de Maputo, Mozambique – Flame Regional Tour
May - Bushfire Festival, House on Fire, Swaziland
May - Bassline, Johannesburg, South Africa
June – 2010 World Cup Soccer – Mary Fitzgerald Square Fan Park, Johannesburg
June/July - Grahamstown Arts Festival, South Africa
July - Exit Festival – Serbia
Sep - Ivo Maia Collaboration – Harare
Oct - Maputo Dourado De Jazz (Maputo Music Circle), Mozambique
Oct - Ital-Jazz - Lusaka and Ndola, Zambia

Apr – Italian Embassy National Day celebrations, Italy
June - Italy Tour – Salina, Sicily, Rome, Cestri Jazz Festival, Nonsole Jazz Festival (Trento), Locomotive Jazz Festival (Lecce)
Sep – ‘Arts Alive’ Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa

Umoja festival, Mozambique
Italy Tour – including special performance for Pope Benedict XVI on World Day of Families event ‘One World Family Love’, and the ‘Italian 25th Grand Prix Award for Social Communication’.

Feb/Mar-Accra, Ghana

Dudu Manhenga| Local Festivals & Special Performances

2003-2010 - Harare International Festival of the Arts, Winter Jazz Festival, Regional Jazz Festival, and African Banking Cooperation Summer Jazz Festival
2007-2013 - 16 Days Concerts, Book Café, Harare
2009-2011 - Harare Jazz Festival
2011-2013 – October Jazz & World Music Festival, Harare

Mar – ‘Nguva Yedu/Thuba Lethu/Our Time’ Youth Festival, Harare
Apr - Harare Jazz Festival
‘Hunger Free, Music for Freedom and Justice 2009’ by Action Aid ‘WoCalling’ (Zimbabwe/Denmark)

May - Harare International Festival of the Arts (since 2003)
Apr - Harare Jazz Festival - annually
July - Harare Winter Jazz Festival - annually
Regional Jazz Festival - annually
African Banking Cooperation Summer Jazz Festival, Harare
Oct - Italian Jazz Festival, Harare
Oct - ‘IPI NTOMBI’ production with Masiyepambili Jnr School, Bulawayo
Nov - Homecoming Tour – Bulawayo, City Of Queens

Feb-Apr – Dudu’s Guest List, the Mannenberg, and Harare
Oct – Italian Jazz Festival, Harare

Mar – Re-opening of Book Café, Harare, with the Hon Prime Minister and diplomatic corps
Apr – ‘Jazz United’ for International Jazz Day, Book Cafe
Sep – Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo
Oct - October Jazz & World Music Festival, Harare

Mar – International Women’s Day Concert Book Café, with the production ‘3 Generations’
Apr – ‘Jazz United’ for International Jazz Day, Book Cafe
Sep – Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo
Sep – Performed with Solly Mahlangu –Harare
Nov - The ‘16 Days Campaign’ Human Rights Concert, Book Café

August – Music from the Mediterranean and African Skies tour-Sardinia Italy


FOR YOU is the fifth music offering by Dudu Manhenga, acclaimed afro jazz artist of Zimbabwe, and her first offering of worship music for public consumption by discerning music-lovers. Backed by a sterling line-up of Color Blu with husband Blessing Muparutsa on drums, the offering is indeed ‘a sweet sound’ to the ear. The eleven delightful tracks on the album are praise and worship written by Dudu, rooted in Bible scriptures, and includes the beautiful old hymn ‘Ndinoshamiswa’ - as never heard before. The CD starts out by establishing strong vocals with the accappella (without accompaniment, voices only) introduction ‘Don’t’, in a shimmer of harmonies as an appetizer for the rest of the album. ‘Mahala’ is about the free gift of Salvation – “He has already paid the price”, and ‘Kude’ is a highly danceable personal testimony of praise: “He raised me up from the dusty streets … now I am sitting with the King!” ‘Ezintabeni’ follows Psalm 141 – “some trust in money and power, but I trust in You”, and ‘Wethembekile’ (He is Trustworthy) is a lively Mbaqanga interpretation of Psalm 23: “He makes me lie down in green pastures, my cup runneth over”. ‘Dwala’ (Rock) is another lively praise offering to “The Rock of Salvation from everlasting to everlasting” and a brilliant piano solo from Nick Nare. Mixed and moulded but firmly rooted in the music of southern Africa, the album mixes jazz with Mbaqanga, and Maskanda guitar with traditional Shona rhythms. In true Ndebele tradition, the beautiful voice of Dudu is backed up by stunning vocals by backing vocalists Victor ‘Duke’ Muparutsa, ‘Uza’, David Machaka and Sharon Chisha, with harmonies that can move you to tears. The lively ‘new’ brass section – a new twist on the trumpets of old, share passionate expression with the vocals on ‘Unathi’ (With Us) – “He’ll never leave us”, and add a celebratory feel to the whole offering. The core members of Color Blu are Blessing Muparutsa (drums), and musical director Nick Nare (keyb), with 8 outstanding young musicians, and a special guest artist, the young and gifted guitarist Norman Masamba who features strongly with great guitar licks and riffs on ‘Handityi’, written specially with guitar in mind. FOR YOU is an offering of the highest praise, contemporary modern worship ballads and joyous praise of the highest musical level, for the consumption and inspiration of the Christian worshipper. FOR YOU is for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It’s for church. It’s for your family. It’s for your car. It’s for your pleasure. It’s for you. FOR YOU is a refreshing addition to Dudu’s recording achievements – Out of the Blu (2003), Jula (2007), Towards Alignment (2009), and Ngangiwe (2011).


For Christ - Dudu has been a dedicated worship leader serving with one congregation since 2003 She is currently doing her final year in Theology at Pan Africa Christian College (An affiliate of Pan Africa Christian University in Kenya ) and currently serves as the music Pastor at Jubilee Christian Centre (Pentecostal Assemblies Of Zimbabwe).

Women Artists - Dudu is also active in music rights and anti-piracy issues, gender and anti-violence activities, and is a major contributor to the FLAME (Female Literary Arts Music Enterprise) programme, for the development and promotion of women artists into the mainstream of the arts, which is run by Harare-based arts organization Pamberi Trust. She has facilitated and participated in 16 workshops with FLAME, which have had topics 'Divas Deliberate' where the senior ladies in the industry met to discuss the problems they have faced in their careers, 'Workshops for Women Artists by Women Artists', 'No Sex Combatants' and 'Women Song writing'. Dudu currently assists the FLAME programme as a resourceful consultant to develop the programmes in collaboration with other established women artists.

Association for Women in the Performing Arts in Zimbabwe (AWIPAZ) - Dudu is surely a young lady who has a passion for the development of the arts especially for the betterment of the female artists. She is spearheading the establishment of an Association for Women in Performing Arts in Zimbabwe, which represents women artists from every province in Zimbabwe to help their development so they can fully participate in the arts. After 12 months of hard work, Dudu was elected as Chairperson of AWIPAZ upon its inauguration in February 2010.

Against Gender Violence - Involved in the annual '16 Days Concert' in Harare, commemorating the 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women in collaboration with domestic violence organization Musasa Project.

Anti-Piracy- Member of the antipiracy commission

Social - The productions include the ‘Famba Zvakanaka’ (IOM safe journey campaign), Action Aid’s ‘Hunger Free, Music for Freedom and Justice 2009’, The British Council’s ‘Power in the Voice’ among others.


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