Dorothy Masuku who is affectionately known as Auntie Dot is a Zimbabwean jazz musician and songwriter who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She rose to fame in the 1950s and she considers herself more as a politician and not a musician per se. She fought alongside nationalist leaders who initiated the struggle to dislodge colonialism through her music. Her popularity increased when she released her song entitled Gona Ramachingura.
Auntie Dot was born on 3 September 1935 in Bulawayo. She was the fourth child in a family of seven. Auntie Dot's mother was from South Africa and her father was from Zambia and he was a chef. When she was 12, Auntie Dot's family relocated to South Africa and she was enroled at St Thomas Catholic Boarding School in Johannesburg.
Dorothy's career was spotted when she was still a pupil at St Thomas Catholic Boarding School. She was given the platform to perform at the school's events. Her parents however objected to letting her pursue a career as a musician. When she was 15, she escaped from school determined to launch her career as a musician. She went to Durban and joined Philemon Magotsi's band, African Ink Spots. Whilst performing with Magotsi's band, Dorothy was invited for auditions by a record company, Traubador and she passed the test subsequently leading to her being part of Traubador's family. She recorded her famous hit song, Hamba Notsokolo (in the early 1950s). After recording her song, she toured South Africa with The Harlem Swingsters and Dolly Rathebe. Her family was against all this and Dorothy was forced to relocate back to Zimbabwe which was then known as Southern Rhodesia after she was sent back to Johannesburg to be with her family.
Whilst in Southern Rhodesia (1961), Dorothy teamed up with The Golden Rythm Crooners. She recorded a track which she dedicated to Patrice Lumumba entitled Lumumba. Special Branch was the recording company which allowed her to record her track after facing stiff challenges of being snubbed by many recording companies on the basis that the track had political connotations. During the same year, she released another track entitled Dr Malan which was meant to expose the brutality of the Nationalist Party in South Africa which had instigated the apartheid policy. These songs were banned and Dorothy went into exile. In 1965, she came back to Southern Rhodesia and released an album and went to South Africa. From then onwards, Dorothy released many albums.
She shared the stage with Mahotella Queens in London. She has performed numerous times during the Harare Winter Jazz Festivals.In February 2014, she graced the National Arts Merit Awards as a guest performer.
- Pata Pata (1990)
- Magumede (1992)
- Mzilikazi (2001)
- The Definite Collection (2002)
Dorothy performed at Wembley during one of Harold Wilson's election campaigns whilst she was in exile in the United States of America. She also performed at Jacob Zuma's inaugural ceremony after he as elected to be the President of South Africa. Dorothy also performed at Oliver Mtukudzi's 60th birthday bash which was held in Harare. Apart from being a musician, she is also an actress and she featured in a film, Nothing for Mahala in 2013. She is also a music teacher and she often travels to Boston and Massachusets in USA. Dorothy is also expected to grace the finale of Star Brite to be held at Long Cheng Plaza.
- Zimbabwe Achievers Awards 2015- Lifetime Outstanding Contribution Award
- Dorothy Masuka,Africa Musicians Profiles, Published:2010,Retrieved:29 Jan 2015"
- Dorothy Masuka (1935– ),The Presidency, Published:2010,retrieved:29 Jan 2015"
- Dorothy Masuka,All Music, Published:1990,Retrieved:29 Jan 2015"
- Masuka: ‘You can’t stop me from singing . . . that’s my life’,NewsDay, Published:8 Jul 2014,retrieved:29 Jan 2015"
- Jonathan Mbiriyamveka, WISE WORDS FROM AUNTIE Masuku speaks on music inheritance,talent,The Herald, published:29 Jan 2015,retrieved:29 Jan 2015"
- Dorothy Masuka to grace NAMA as guest artiste,The Zimbabwe Mail, published:14 Feb 2014,retrieved:29 Jan 2015"