Tashamiswa: An Epitome of Braggadocio on the Zimbabwean Hip Hop Scene

Tashamiswa is a female rapper born and raised in Zimbabwe. She is known for her honest and egotistical lyrics. Tashamiswa is known as a breath of fresh air on the Zimbabwean hip hop scene being that she is a female rapper who doesn’t necessarily use her body as empowerment, but her lyrics. 

The music video I am focusing on is “Strangers” by Tashamiswa. Tashamiswa raps in English with a more than evident hint of braggadocio. According to Professor Msia Clark, “Braggadocio is one way a female artist can claim her right to a position next to her male counterparts.” This was evident throughout the music video, whether it was Tashamiswa having tires with “Tasha” painted on them, or the warning which stated “your existence will now be erased.” 

There is also power in Tasha’s outfits throughout the video. She is wearing two different outfits during the video. It begins with her wearing a denim outfit and a black t-shirt. This is unique because any rapper can wear this outfit, whether it be male or female. I interpreted this as a statement that can be a testament to her braggadocio and confidence. Here she is, entering a field dominated by her male counterparts, wearing almost the same clothes as them, and declaring that she is that rapper, that she is the king (or queen) of the world. 

When it comes to braggadocio as mentioned in the textbook, Tasha doesn’t necessarily fit into this mold: “In women, braggadocio that extols sexual dominance and control is sometimes seen as undermining female empowerment and feminist values” (Clark). The second outfit Tasha wears is a one-piece, only slightly exposing her thighs. Her mannerisms throughout the music video tend to imitate those of her male counterparts, as evidenced through her arm and hand movements.

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