This past semester, I was in an African music class and did a presentation on the Zambian musician, Yvonne Mwale. After doing some preliminary research, I quickly realized that Yvonne was sharing an incredible life story through her music, and creating some utterly moving pieces that touched me both emotionally and spiritually. I reached out to her via social media to see if she was interested in speaking with me so I could learn more, and have since created a podcast that features our interview and some of her songs.
To give a brief overview, Yvonne Mwale was born in Zambia into a loving family. However, when she was 12 years old, both of her parents passed away and she found herself an orphan, living on the streets. Instead of giving up hope, Yvonne hustled through life, and eventually established her career as a musician. Some highlights of her musical career include being named the 2009 “Best Upcoming Female Artist” at the Ngoma Awards in Zambia, collaborating on a piece called “Change We Can Believe In” with the US State Department and other Zambian musicians, and winning several Jazz improvisation competitions. She has produced several albums, with the most recent being her 2020 album, “Free Soul,” and creates music that transcends many different musical genres, such as jazz, pop, soul, and Afro-fusion.
Currently, Yvonne resides in Germany, where she is working on new music and scheduling performances for after the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage everyone to listen to the podcast I have created in which she explains her own story. From this podcast you will learn about how Yvonne is not only an incredibly talented vocalist, but also a courageous, strong, and inspirational woman. I have never spoken with someone who has transformed their life in such a positive way to create art which emits such immense compassion and happiness for listeners.
Please enjoy listening to this podcast episode, and for more information on Yvonne, visit her website at yvonnemwale.com.