Australian-based, Zimbabwean-born female singer Tarisai Vushe is the first from her country to succeed in an international talent show watched by millions of viewers worldwide.
She was an early favorite in the 2007 Australian Idol competition – but placed fifth. That didn't stop the 23 year old Vushe from pursuing her music career.
Vushe has just released a debut single titled “Head Over Heels” and sales of the recording so far are said to be exceeding expectations. She launched the single before more than 50,000 people in Sydney.
Vushe said the song has been well received in Australia because of its upbeat tempo.
The singer thrilled Idol audiences when she performed Whitney Houston's hit song "I Have Nothing" during the talent contest. Judges complimented her on her powerful vocals - but said she had not shown enough improvement as the competition progressed.
Her career really took off in 2008 when she sang at a New Year's eve concert in Sydney and later sang one of her own songs at a martial arts event there.
That March she went on tour with South African band Malaika and later performed in the Macao gambling center near Hong Kong.
Her exposure on Australian idol with 1.65 million viewers, its second-largest audience ever, made Vushe an overnight sensation. She acknowledged that it is not easy to handle fame when it comes, and tries to remain connected to her Zimbabwean roots by working with fellow Oz-based artist Audius Mtawarira.
Vushe says she hopes some day to work with other Zimbabwean musicians, in particular Oliver Mtukudzi and gospel diva Shingisai Suluma.
But she says mother has been her biggest influence and is currently helping her write a gospel album.
Zimbabwean music lovers agree it will take hard work for Vushe to attain the level of Zimbabwean greats like Mtukudzi, Thomas Mapfumo and Stella Chiweshe - but say she is clearly a serious contender