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A talent which knows no limits

By Refentse Makgamatha | 2017-08-27 12:56:37.0

Zimkitha Kumbaca seamlessly gives different canvasses of herself.

She has graced different platforms, from being the lead actress on popular Safta-winning drama series Matatiele, to playing the lead role on Exile at the State Theatre - and she sings on top of that.

Going with the stage name ZimkithA SouL, she is about to release her solo album9 LIVES: The Blacklisted Woman. The album promises to be an experience of fired up afrofunk, hip-hop, electro beats and soul.

The success of the album hinges on the runaway hit Yonkinto, which is fast gaining traction.

The 29-year-old was born in King Williams Town and studied drama and film at Tshwane University of Technology. Her parents were not only cops, but also choristers.

"My mother used to write scripts for Umhlobo Wenene [radio station], she taught me how to write scripts and that's when I fell in love with writing.

"I enjoyed playing someone else and sing in choirs and so forth," she points out.

Kumbaca tapped into her musical side in 2005. She joined Ginger Alibi band after she was discovered during a poetry session in Pretoria.

She later joined Travellin' Blak in 2008. "I loved singing in the bands but I've always felt I want to do more. I don't see why I shouldn't explore all my talents," she says.

The next gift she tapped into was acting.

She composed music for 4.48 Psychosis in 2010, a stage play that showcased at the National Arts Festival's Fringe programme.

She was also the co-writer, music composer and director for a theatre production called Trapped, directed by Princess Zinzi Mhlongo.

But it hasn't been easy.

"I don't know how many auditions I've gone to and was told I was not good enough for the role.

"I don't have the small waist, perky butt, well rounded breasts and all that.

"In this industry, if you don't tick off those boxes then you're seen as fat. I feel we need to take our craft seriously, look beyond the hour glass and focus on talent," she says.

Kumbaca's solo music career officially began in 2015 when she released her debut EP Many Colours of the Soul, offering a mixture of genres and an exploration of sounds that touched on love, fun, happiness, self-acceptance, sadness and loss.

"The EP did well, not in terms of numbers, but the fact that people took time to just listen to it, and that was satisfying," she says.