Marsha Moyo

From Chalo Chatu, Zambia online encyclopedia
Marsha Moyo
Marsha Moyo.jpg
Marsha Ireen Hlekiwe Moyo

(1970-07-11)July 11, 1970
DiedNovember 5, 2016(2016-11-05) (aged 46)
Nationality Zambia
OccupationSinger, songwriter, author, activist
RelativesDambisa Moyo (sister)

Marsha Ireen Hlekiwe Moyo (11 July 1970 – 5 November 2016) was a Zambian multi-award winning singer, songwriter, author and civil rights activist. Her music delivered a timeless collection of urban adult contemporary soul, rhythm and blues.[1]

Early life and education

Marsha was born on 11 July 1970 in Lusaka, Zambia.[2] At three months old, Marsha travelled with her mother and elder sister to join her father, Dr Stephen Moyo, the former director-general of the Zambia Broadcasting Services, who at the time was studying in Los Angeles. There is where she began her education and later between Zambia and the US for secondary school and university respectively. After her degree studies in marketing at Rutgers University where she was a member of the university's honor society, she returned to Zambia and there set up Ad. Track, the first media monitoring company in Zambia.[2]

Music career

Before her entry into music, Marsha worked as a marketing executive for Zambia Sugar for four years before resigning to pursue her childhood dream of singing. Encouraged by a friend, she sent her demo tape to Sheer Sound of South Africa, and within days, she was signed on.[3]

She entered the music industry in 2002 with her debut album Dark Child which earned her a South Africa Music Award nomination for Best African artist and two Kora All Africa Music Awards nominations for Revelation of the Year and Best Female Artist-Southern Africa.

Video: Marsha Moyo mini-documentary on SABC's Africa Within

In 2004, she released her epic song Women Celebrated for which she received another two Kora Award nominations for Best Female African Artist-Southern Africa and Best African Video.

In 2006, she released her album The Fine Print which earned her a Ngoma Award in for Best Vocal Recording followed by her 2013 album, Vested in Love.

She has further performed at the world's only 7-star hotel Burj-al-Arab, Dubai UAE and she became Zambia’s first recording artist aired on MTV.[4] During her performance in Dubai, a number of international stars were holidaying there including tennis star Serena Williams and the Manchester United team which had the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy in its ranks. The Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat was one of those who turned up to watch her performance.[3]

In 2015, Moyo was featured on the project "When Worlds Collide", which was selected by American rapper Jay Z’s Tidal Rising programme where he supports emerging actors and their overlooked gifts. She features on the song Another Mirror with Eminem’s Shady Records artiste Kxng Crooked of Slaughterhouse.[5]


  • KORA All Africa Music Awards, Johannesburg, South Africa- December 2004
  • Jazz & Blues self titled concert, Lusaka, Zambia, May 2004
  • Rotary International Award Ceremony, Kitwe, Zambia, May 2004
  • Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, first republican President of Zambia, 80th birthday celebration - Lusaka, Zambia, April 2004
  • Burj-Al-Arab, Dubai UAE- December 2003-February 2004
  • Diplomatic Spouses Fund Raising Dinner Dance, Lusaka October 2003
  • Arts Alive, Johannesburg, South Africa- September 2003
  • FESPAM (Festival for Pan African Music) Congo, Brazzaville- August 2003
  • Fete de la Musique, Lusaka, Zambia June 2003

Authoring career

Marsha was also the author of the publication Zambia: Women Celebrated (2001, 2011 UNFPA) on the positive achievements and community contributions of several women in Zambia.

While, in 2009, she wrote Wheels of Change: Champions in the SADC Gender Agenda (UNECA, SADC) which sought to honour and recognise the SADC heroines and heroes who contributed immensely to the achievement of gender equality and equity in SADC.


In 2008, the United Nations appointed her to advocate the Millennium Development Goals, the UN appointment saw her become the first-ever celebrity jointly appointed by all UN agencies resident in a single country and Zambia’s first UN honorary appointee and in 2011, the Zambian Government appointed her as a lifetime Tourism Ambassador.

Community initiatives

In 2004, Moyo established The Pamodzi Foundation. It is a Zambian based community initiative endowment towards art culture, education and sport.[6]

Personal life

Moyo's was young sister of renowned international economist and author, Dambisa Moyo. Her father, Dr Stephen Moyo is former Director-General of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.


She died on Saturday 5 November 2016 after an illness.

Related videos

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