I imagine her palms were sweaty when she told herself over and over and over again that it was the right thing to do.
She probably pushed aside the doubts that were running riot in her senses and made her nervous. Doing something that you know feels right deep down is too noble and there’s too much at stake for there not to be any butterflies. One must be anxious… At least, that’s what I think.
It’s easy to ask and even expect people to follow their dreams, but doing it is a completely different story.
For Vanessa Mdee, it’s been two years since the big leap; from presenting on radio and TV to baring her heart and her secrets on the mic, through the wonderful and amazing gift of music.
She doesn’t have a complete album out, but the success of her songs like Money, Closer, Hawajui, You and Me and Nobody But Me have been enough to win her two awards: RnB Song of the Year at the Tanzania Music Awards, and Best Female Artiste in Eastern Africa at the All Africa Music Awards, both in 2014.
The two years have not only been spent singing, but no doubt believing, sweating, fighting and proving to herself, and others, that this is her destiny.
“It’s a huge responsibility. You never see that coming. It has just dawned on me…” she tells me.
Vanessa knows now that her craft is bigger than her. Something that is all too real when she performs before crowds of thousands and they scream, cheer and sing back her own music to her.
“I can’t explain how that feels…” she says, and honestly, who could?
As she continues working, there is something else that Vee Money is passionate about. She strongly feels adamant that artistes should not die poor. She also knows that picking on her tenacious nature, this will form a crucial part of how her future is coming together.
“After a lot of struggle at the beginning, and the fact that it’s very hard for me to be idle… I eventually decided to manage myself… I formed a company called Vanessa Mdee Music and I have a nice little hard-working team that works for me… Very soon I could start managing other musicians, you never know!” she laughs.
But her intent is clear; it’s not just about the music. The beats and tunes and head bobbing are a means to an end for Vee Money. According to what she says, it will involve being “a force of change in young Africans. Making people aware, because there is power in knowledge…”
Vanessa’s new world is slowly coming together and that writing will soon be on the wall.
What she is happy about is that things have really changed in Tanzania the last few years and artistes are more appreciated and well paid than before. The distribution of music has always been a challenge, but artistes are coming together to do something about that and Vanessa wants to be responsible for any eureka moments…
Vanessa is rarely not all work, but she has her family at heart the rest of the time, and a whole lot of clothes!
“I love clothes! My room is full of them… And I also take up about half the closet space in my sister’s room! I do love clothes yes, but I clean out twice a year and give them out to charity.”
Vee Money knows not to place undue value on material things. What she says defines her, is her heart.
“My mum keeps me grounded. But I also know that I can do nothing without God,” she explains.
This 27-year-old songstress is a believer in giving tithe and treating others with respect and it is very important for her to make time for her friends and loved ones.
Allow me to conclude by saying this: I am fascinated by people who stand up and follow their dreams; and even more so those who use their talents for good. I think everyone has it in them to do this… What’s your dream?