Chengetayi Mnisi-Samoyo: ‘Why I left my job to become a dancer’

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In the African context, leaving your job to pursue your dream is a luxury but Zimbabwean, Chengetayi Mnisi-Samoyo did it anyway.

Chengetayi walked away from her corporate job to become a full-time dance fitness instructor and choreographer.

“Dance is a very unconventional career path especially for an african woman. When people look at dance, they look at the raunchy side of things.”

Most people expect people who are less privileged to be in careers like dancing. So when Chengetayi Mnisi-Samoyo chose that over a job that guaranteed a stable monthly income, it was worrying.

“When I started dancing professionally, I’d go for shows because I would dance for artists and you’d have people yelling ‘prostitutes’. It makes it really hard people to take you seriously or for your family to support you.”

Though stereotypical, some African parents expect their children to follow one path to a successful life which is usually a corporate path.

“Our parents go through so much to take us through school and university and they pay so much money and for you to then turn around and say Mum but this is not what I wanted to do.”

Chengetayi Mnisi-Samoyo admits it’s a struggle doing what she does as a career in Zimbabwe but dance will forever remain her passion and is what she wants to do in her life.

“It’s a struggle. My dance is my passion, it’s what drives me, it’s what I live for, it changes lives, I love it. I really wouldn’t be doing anything else.”

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