Tanyaradzwa Ashleigh Tawengwa
Tanyaradzwa, whose name translates to “we have been comforted” in Shona, was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. Tanyaradzwa launched her musical career at the age of three with a church solo début of Whitney Houston’s “Who Would Imagine a King.” Once identified, her musical talents were consistently nurtured. She began playing classical piano at the age of nine, cello at twelve, and opera became her main vocal field of study at fifteen. She competed on a national platform and was the top junior singer in the country. At the age of 17, she was awarded a scholarship to Armand Hammer United World College in the US. During this time, Tanyaradzwa met Eve Ensler and began her work as a V-Girls Action Team Leader. Tanyaradzwa performed Ensler’s Emotional Creature in Beverly Hills, at The Lensic in Santa Fe, the Powerhouse Theater in New York, and the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. Tanyaradzwa speaks English, Shona, French, and Italian, and is currently studying at Princeton University. There she is involved in opera, the Glee Club, and French theatre; and is a resident advisor, and president and founder of Umqombothi, Princeton’s African a cappella ensemble. This summer, 20-year-old Tanyaradzwa released her first album, Tanyaradzwa.