Saturday, April 10, 2010


Yvonne Chaka Chaka-Africa's music diva

Yvonne Machaka aka Yvonne Chaka Chaka is an internationally recognized and highly respected Princess of Africa, performing diva, entrepreneur, and humanitarian.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka was born in 1965 Dobsonville in Soweto. Yvonne Chaka Chaka grew up in a humble family. Her father passed away when she was 11. Her Mother became the sole provider and struggled to bring three daughters with the little income she made as a domestic worker.
When asked who she admired most, Chaka Chaka said "My mother because she has always been there for me. My mother raised three daughters single-handedly on a domestic worker's salary. That took great courage and strength. She is my mentor and hero. When I was born in 1965 in Soweto, it was during apartheid, and those were extremely difficult times. My dad was a great musician who could never realize his dream. He died when I was 11 years old. I inherited my talent from both parents, so music has always been in my blood. When I was little I would strum an empty tin and blow into a broom stick pretending it was a microphone. I sang in church choirs. I loved singing. I am blessed that I achieved my destiny, and been able to accomplish what my father could not."

Yvonne became the first Black child to appear on South African television when in 1981 "Sugar Shack", a talent show, introduced her to the South African public.

Dubbed the "Princess of Africa", Yvonne Chaka Chaka has been at the forefront of South African popular music for 20 years. Some of her most famous songs include "I'm Burning Up", "I'm in Love With a DJ", "I Cry for Freedom", "Makoti", "Motherland" and the ever-popular "Umqombothi" ("African Beer"). Yvonne has won numerous awards and accolades and graced various magazines. She has shared the stage with megastars such as Bono, Youssou N'Dour , the classic rock band Queen, and South Africans Johnny Clegg, Miriam Makeba, and Hugh Masekela, to name a few. Yvonne has performed for HRM Queen Elizabeth, US President Bill Clinton, South African President Thabo Mbeki, and a host of other world leaders. As a young performer Yvonne was the first Black child to appear on South African television in 1981.

In 1989 she created her own company, Chaka Chaka Promotions. In 1995 she created her own music label, Chaka Chaka Music. Since then every album Yvonne has released has been on her own label. She has two diplomas from the University of South Africa, one in adult education, another in local government, management and administration. Her business ventures include companies in the Information Technology sector; Energy and Minerals sectors; Human Resource Development focused on adult training; and Sandown Motors, a luxury motor vehicle retailer . Yvonne's energy and enthusiasm is boundless. She has become a hero and mentor to others, a willing warrior and agent for change in enormous proportions. Considered a role model throughout the African continent, she has demonstrated compassion for others throughout her career.

Yvonne actively promotes the rights of women, and the protection of Children. She is a Trustee of Tomorrow Trust, which educated orphans and vulnerable children. Yvonne Chaka Chaka is also UNICEF's Goodwill Ambassador against malaria, and also Ambassador for Roll-Back Malaria (sponsored by the World Bank, United Nations, World Health Organization, and other institutions). She also founded and runs her own charity the Princess of Africa Foundation.

One of her favourite male mentor and father figure is Nelson Mandela. Mandela who fondly refers to Yvonne as his dear daughter once stated, “It is what we make of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another. Yvonne, you are a testament to my belief. You have made all of South Africa proud to claim you as a national icon. You have motivated millions of women and men on our continent. Your generosity has benefited untold numbers of families and orphans facing the challenges of AIDS, terminal illness, abuse, poverty, and illiteracy. I know you will always make your indelible mark wherever you go, and with what ever you do. There is no stopping you! You will always be my Princess of Africa.”

Yvonne Chaka Chaka with husband and family

The men in her life

Yvonne Chaka Chaka with hubby Dr Mandlalele Mhinga

Her philosophy is, “When we are born we come with nothing. And when we die, we die with nothing. So every day I wake up and say, ‘God thank you for the life that you have given me. I take nothing for granted. I love living, I love life, and I live it to the fullest.'”

In Greek legend the goddess Clytemnestra said, “We are the instruments of Heaven. Our work is not design, but destiny.” African icon Yvonne Chaka Chaka is living her destiny, and those who understand her message are enriched by it.