Alexandra Govere performing on a public beach in Malibu, California.
|Birth name||Alexandra Shungudzo Govere|
|Genres||pop, folk music|
|Occupation(s)||philanthropist, singer, songwriter, record producer|
|Associated acts||Kerry Brothers, Jr.|
Alexandra Govere, also known as Andra, is an American philanthropist, singer, songwriter, record producer, gymnast, journalist and reality television personality. She first attracted media attention by being the first black female gymnast to represent Zimbabwe in artistic gymnastics at the 1999 All-Africa Games, and later by co-founding the Kijana Project, which provides relief for AIDS orphans. She later gained wide media attention as a cast member on the 2011 season of The Real World: San Diego.
Alexandra Govere was born in the United States but grew up in Zimbabwe, in a rural village that was home to straw covered mud huts that did not have electricity or running water. She is of Zimbabwean, French, and Amerindian descent. Her family eventually relocated to California, and as of the early 2000s, she was living in Oregon.
Ballet, gymnastics and education
Govere practiced dancing and ballet, and according to her, became the first female of color to be on the Zimbabwe National Gymnastics Team at age 9. Her parents, both of whom are college graduates, encouraged her in her studies as well. She studied calculus at age 10, and finished high school by 14. She later attended Stanford University, where she studied civil engineering.
Govere was the first black female gymnast to represent Zimbabwe in artistic gymnastics at the 1999 All-Africa Games in Johannesburg. At 12 years of age, she was also the youngest member of the 162-member team.
In 2000, Govere began collecting clothing for orphans who lost their parents to AIDS. By 2002, the Kijana Project, as it came to be called, had expanded to an international organization run by then-15-year-old Govere and her sister, consisting of 50 members who aid orphans in six different countries, raising money for clothing, toys and school supplies, as well as paying for the education of many AIDS orphans. Govere was spurred to this work after witnessing many of her childhood classmates contract HIV from vaccinations using dirty needles.
Music and television
Govere was discovered by Alicia Keys' Grammy Award-winning producer, Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, who had heard a song Govere placed on MySpace for her mother to hear. Although she initially met with Brothers with the intent to be a songwriter, he made her sing vocals, and recognized her talent. With him, she released a mixtape, "Love is 4 Suckaz/I'm a Sucka 4 Love", some songs from which are available on YouTube. Although Govere planned to debut a 2011 album with Krucial, She announced in October 2011 that she left Krucial in order to take the independent route.
Brass magazine describes the mixtape as "a high-wattage soup of synthetic beats and heavy post-production mixing", whose lyrics focus on the themes of love, jealousy, revenge and anti-consumerism. Describing Govere's voice, Brandon Goldner of Brass says, "[Her voice] can range from bright and flute-like to a rougher, almost smoky honesty".
As of 2011, Govere was living in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, Byron, whom she began seeing eight months prior to filming The Real World. Their relationship was depicted in episode 4 of that season when he visited her at the season residence.
- Goldner, Brandon. "Sing. Dance. Write. Andra Govere: The most amazing 20-something you haven't heard of. Yet…". Brass magazine. May 2, 2011
- "Real World: San Diego: La Jolla (2011) - Alexandra Govere Vevmo, August 4, 2011
- "Ready for their world: Two teens with the right stuff join the global party". BNET.
- Real World: San Diego: Cast: Alexandra. MTV. accessed September 30, 2011.
- Note: Sources conflict on whether she graduated. The Brass article indicates she graduated with a civil engineering degree, though her MTV.com bio indicates she dropped out eight weeks prior to graduation.
- "Zim songstress causes a stir". The Zimbabwean. July 30, 2010. retrieved September 27, 2011.
- Johnson, Steve. "Zimbabwean Gymnast Makes History". AllAfrica.com. October 25, 1999
- Phillips, Madeline. "Govere's worldwide program continues to assist AIDS orphans". The Paly Voice. November 12, 2002
- Olson, Linnea. "The Kids Are Alright". Elle Girl Sep-Oct 2003. page 141. Google Books. accessed August 4, 2011.
- "Album: "Love is 4 Suckaz / I'm A Sucka 4 Love" by Andra". August 14, 2010
- "Andra ft. Lupe Fiasco – White Swans". Dubstep Source. July 6, 2010
- Govere, Alexandra."Music & Things". Too Sweet To Be Bitter. October 7, 2011
- Govere, Alexandra. "Music & Things". Facebook. October 7, 2011
- "Alexandra Govere". MTV Act Blog. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- "Alexandra Govere". MTV Voices UK. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- "First Impressions". The Real World: San Diego. Season 26. Episode 1. September 28, 2011. MTV.
- "Hair Razing Arguments and Sticky Situations". The Real World: San Diego. Season 26. Episode 4. October 19, 2011. MTV.