If a lover has ever left you out in the cold, then I know you can relate to this song, especially if the relationship never seems to come to a real end. “Usadzoke” is about a scorned woman who is reflecting on the toxic pattern of her relationship in the two verses, as she has finally gathered up the courage to give her man an ultimatum in the chorus, with the punchline being in my native tongue, chiShona. The verses have no particular form or rhyming scheme, as they are meant to be words spoken in a voice message, a phone call or even in person.

As is usually the case in my songwriting, I had no idea what shape the song would take when I started writing it, and I had not been in a relationship for a while so it kind of came as surprise to me as well. I had a specific sound that I wanted for the verses, and thus the bit of muffling on the verses. I love telling stories, and unbeknownst to me, this song presented me to tell a story about heartbreak. The main lyrics are as follows:

Maybe it’s just me
But it seems like
You see it fit
To walk right out
And come back to me
Knowing that I’ll take you back
Told myself no one
Could hurt me but my heart
Sustained some cracks
From all the pain you
Caused me when I gave you all
I ever had
All I can say is
Don’t come back to me
If you’re not gonna change
Don’t come back to me
If you’re gonna be that way
Don’t come back to me
If don’t wanna stay
Don’t come back to me
If you’re gonna be that way

Usadzoke (x3)
Usa-dzoke
Usadzoke (x3)
Usa-dzoke
Usadzoke (x3)
Usa-dzoke
Usadzoke (x3)
Usa-dzoke

Sometimes I ask myself
Why I stay with you
You take me for granted
And you blame it all on me yeah

Usadzoke (x3)
Usa-dzoke

Heaven knows I’ve been
Good to you
Even when you did me wrong
My heart cannot take no more
It’s time for me to move on

Usadzoke (x2)
All I can say is (Usadzoke)
Usa-dzoke
Usadzoke
All I can say is (Usadzoke)

I really enjoyed singing this song, with my favourite part being the ad-libs. This is where I felt I could vocalise the pain of being in a relationship that hurts you more than it helps you. The song is not only an ultimatum but also about taking one’s power back in a relationship. I hope that this song can be an inspiration to us all in times where we feel taken for granted, to be able to open the door of our hearts, but never let it become a revolving door that people can walk in and out of as they please. May each one of us know that our hearts aren’t doormats.