Diana Mationesa Samkange is a jazz artist from Zimbabwe. She joined popular Urban Grooves group, 2BG, to replace Rutendo Muchirahondo.
Born on 11 November 1986, Diana who comes from a musical background attended Queen Elizabeth Girls High School in Harare and then Harare Polytechnic for a Diploma in Computer Programming. Diana Samkange now popularly known as MaNgwenya stormed the music scene on the back of the 75% local content initiative by government in the early 2000s, which gave birth to urban grooves music mainly by young people.
She began singing at a very young age at home, school and church. It was quite easy for her to fit in because she grew up in a family of singers, her aunts and uncles, and they made music an easy venture for her.
Professionally she started in 2004 just after high school as an Urban Grooves musician together with a group called 2BG (two boys and a girl), with Bloodshaw Chikosi (Blush) and Kevin Ashley. The trio split as other members Shane Dingz and Blush relocated to the UK and South Africa. MaNgwenya, who ventured into the industry as a replacement for 2BG’s Rutendo Muchirahondo in 2004 before going solo and deviating to Afro-jazz, has produced many top notch songs that have established her as a fluent mbira player.
She was brought to Chigutiro stable in 2004 by TBA the Playboy before she joined 2BG. Diana then teamed up with Ngonie and Blush on her track Chitsidzo which is on Chigutiro Phase I. In 2008, she began a solo career although they had not split as a group even up to now. She was still part of it but due to distance, they had not been able to record (any music as a group). She released Chitsidzo while still with 2BG, which got her a nomination for Best Female Urban Grooves at the ZIMA awards. She released her first album, My First Diary, in 2008, although it did not make it to the market. In 2010, she did another album, Kumagumo Erudo which also featured renditions of James Chimombe’s songs and in 2012 she released her third album, Kumazivandadzoka. In 2016 she released, Kwayedza which was followed by Kumanginde in 2019.
She and Willom Tight collaborated with Nasty Trix on his song Gumbakumba.
- My First Diary (2008)
- Kumagumo eRudo (2010),
- Kumazivandadzoka (2012)
- Kwayedza (2016)
- Kumanginde (2019)
She took a musical break from January 2020 to June 2020 as she focused on promoting her business brand — Ancient by MaNgwenya — that seeks to produce, package and distribute traditional goods and services including food, herbs and outfits. “I am taking a break from stage presence until June as I focus on my family and business side of my brand, Ancient by MaNgwenya, and my farming projects. However, I will also take time to record new songs in the studio in time for release in September 2020,” she said.