Berita is a multi-award-winning singer-songwriter, guitarist and music producer. She is also the founder of her own recording and talent management company Assali Music. Her life story is that of a Pan-African millennial who was first introduced to South Africa in 2012 with a stunning debut Thandolwethu.
Listen to the full conversation here:
The early years
She was born and raised in Zimbabwe and her real name is Gugulethu Khumalo. Berita is her mother’s name, a name she cherishes and uses as her stage name to honour and celebrate her mother Berita Khumalo, the woman who birthed and nurtured her.
Speaking to Sumitra, she reflected on her early childhood and the time she left Zimbabwe for greener pastures, where she had to immigrate with her family to New Zealand where her parents found work as dairy farmers.
The inherent challenges of living in the diaspora as a first-generation immigrant and the pop sound on the radio at the time inspired Berita to pick up a guitar and begin writing songs.
“I left Zimbabwe when I was 16 years old, that was 2007. What was at the height of the trauma, the political and economic turmoil had a lot of people leaving the country in search of greener pastures. I come from a middle-class family where both my parents were teachers, they worked hard, there is five of us. They saved up money in the hope that they would retire well and in the hope that they would take us to the best schools they could afford.”
On owning her music
Music ownership is one of the most talked-about areas in the music business as this is where a lot of money is made. She spoke about how she started looking at her music as a way of owning an interest in her investment.
“3 years ago I had to take a very important decision, and I think the music industry changes quite significantly how the ecosystem of money flows, I decided to have ownership of my music. That meant that I would invest in my music, and treat my music like equity, the same way as when you have a property and receive a rental income.”
Image: BeritaSoul Instagram