Stella is the "bass player" in the quartet. Her incredibly resonant voice has attracted the interest of many established musicians over the years.
Stella is the eldest daughter of two Tanzanian diplomats and travelled with them to postings in New York, India, Washington and Stockholm before coming to Ottawa in 1976. Within a year of arriving in Ottawa, she met and married a fellow Tanzanian and moved back to her homeland where she had two children, Stephen Lohay and Diana Nabina. Stella has worked as a newspaper reporter, and as a translator for a Swedish trucking firm. She also sang for a number of years with an eight-piece showband in a cabaret setting.
Growing up in a large musical family, Stella claims that she "learned to sing before she could walk" and refers to her family as "the black von Trapps". Stella is a lead singer of Cheza, an Ottawa-based, African-influenced dance band. Having studied linguistics at university in Tanzania, she speaks English, Swahili and Swedish fluently and gets along well in several other languages!
Stella is a huge devotee of Britain's legendary seventies rock group, Yes.
Stella quite often has an audience at a Malaika concert rolling in the aisles in fits of laughter with her zany impromptu between song musings. Her natural ability for storytelling and her genuinely unique outlook on life endears her to everyone in attendance.
© 2000 Malaika