THE fairytale and ambitious musical journey of jazz diva, Rutendo Jacqueline Ngoreta-Mugandani, started at a tender age of eight in the dusty streets of Tsovani in Chiredzi. Her silky voice charmed many when she joined the school choir and traditional dance at Chiredzi Primary before she nurtured her musical talent and weaned herself from artistic infancy to one of the country’s most promising jazz crooners.
Her mother, back then, before realising how talented her daughter was, barred her from actively participating into traditional dance as she believed it was associated with ‘spirits’. She was born in Mutare on February 18 in 1989. She is the only girl in a family of four. She later finished her Primary school education at Greenfield before she enrolled at Townsend Girls High School in Bulawayo.
She draws her inspiration from the late contemporary jazz diva, Chioneso Maraire and talented songstress, Lira Zamajobe. She moved to Mutare in 2005 where she pursued Business Management and Administration.
Her flawless musical journey took a gear up after she joined Band Mutare as a lead vocalist. They did several gigs across the country, for instance, at Leopard Rock, Montclair Hotel and Casino and Holiday Inn to mention a few. In 1996, a dark cloud engulfed the Ngoreta family after they lost their dad, who was Jackie’s source of inspiration and pillar of strength.
She lost her mother in 2004 and as the only girl in the family, she had to be strong and pull herself up. She is married to Alwyn Mugandani and is blessed with two children. She is the director of a bridal and clothing stable RJ Collection. From 2014 to 2019, Rutendo took a sabbatical from mainstream music to concentrate more on her family.
She felt she had to concentrate more on her bundles of joy and husband. She bounced back with a bang, in 2019 with a single titled,“Usandisiye” which was produced by Tami Bimha. 2019 saw the birth of her new ensemble, Afro Blue. The band comprised of a group of young, ambitious and talented bandsmen
During her spare time, she loves to spend time doing what she loves best – cooking and decorating her home as she is a décor addict. She loves art paintings.