Meet Zenaye, the talent behind the official Wits song
- Wits University
Zenaye Skosana wrote and performed Wits’ official song “For Good”, which was launched just before the Homecoming celebrations.
The song is catchy, uplifting and the lyrics will leave you beaming with pride.
In this Q&A with Wits Communications, the multi-talented Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts (Hons) shares her story.
Please tell us about your childhood?
My childhood was filled with love, peace and freedom. This helped a lot when I got exposed to music and dance, where I was able to imitate what I saw on TV, or heard on the radio. Given the environment, I always felt comfortable to always express myself by sharing my talents with anyone and everyone who would listen, or watch. This continued throughout primary school, high school and to date.
My family loves to remind me of a moment where we were watching Terry Pheto on Tsotsi. I apparently looked at her for a while – speechless – turned to the family to say, “I want to be like her”.
Also “I’m no weekend, weekend special…”, by Brenda Fassie, was one of my favourite songs growing up. In the pictures, now lost, there is a picture of me dressed in a blue and white dress holding the remote control imitating her.
Was music always your first career choice?
Yes. Actually anything in the entertainment space was always my first choice. My second choice was to be an accountant, or a business woman. Crazy enough, when I used to try to do my second choice during high school, I would always find myself singing, dancing, acting, or auditioning for something. It always felt like I was being pulled into that direction. The teachers at my high school would also encourage me to pursue singing, and some would even ask if they should speak to my family so that they can allow me to do so.
Please tell us about your academic journey thus far?
When I first applied to Wits, I applied for a BCom degree, fortunately I got rejected. When this happened, I was sad at first but then I realised that maybe this was a sign. This was not the path for me, so when I took a gap year that year, I was able to sit with myself and explore the possibilities of studying what I really wanted.
I chose to study a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts, which is a professional four year degree. I’m doing Honours, majoring in writing and directing. I chose this degree because of the foundation and exploration of how stories are told. Once a person understands the basis of how stories are told before they evolve into theatre, it is possible to use all of this for Television and Film and to break the rules of storytelling in innovative ways.
You have a couple of songs to your name. How would you describe your style and genre?
I have been asked this question a few times, and every time I am asked, I feel like a different person from the ‘Lost in the Sauce’ era. But it’s a good different because I am evolving as an artist. The genre of music I make is R&B alternative, afro R&B with some soulfulness. Stylistically, I love to make sad music that talks about love, betrayal, loss and time, with vocally challenging and smooth moments to convey the message. Recently, I have been challenging myself to open up into other genres and styles just to see what else I can do.
What went into creating ‘For Good’, the official Wits Centenary song?
The idea for the song came to me as I was walking through campus and seeing all the preparations for the centenary in progress. It hit me: Wouldn’t it be cool to have a Wits Song as they do for the World Cups and other big events?
I gave Feziekk a call and said ‘hey, dude, I am going to write the official Wits 100 years’ celebration song. And you are going to produce it?
With this song, it was important for me to write about where I am, where Wits comes from, where Wits is going and how so many of us have become part of the Wits legacy, for future generations.
What are your future plans?
Firstly, the For Good #Wits100Song music video is coming out soon. I am so excited for everyone to see it. Thank you to every single person that was involved in the process. Also, I have decided to work on an acoustic version of the For Good #Wits100Song with Feziekk and Makhoi Nkala, which comes out on 25 November 2022.
Next year is going to be a big year for me in terms of music. I have a lot of music in the vault ready to be released. Let me just give you an exclusive: my first single for 2023 is set to come out on 27 January ,called ‘Won’t Love Again’. It will be on all streaming platforms.