Check Out The 5 Females Who Changed South Africa’s Music


We honour the women who put South Africa on the music map.

Presented by Ntombi Ngcobo-Mzolo – fellow SA muso and daughter of the legendaryIhashi Elimhlope, Gumba Gumba, on BeatLab, channel 500 on OpenView HD, pays tribute to musicians who put the sounds of Mzansi under the spotlight.

This Women’s Month, we salute the rocking women who have struck chords with music lovers everywhere.

Miriam Makeba

1. Miriam Makeba

It’s only right that we kick off with Mama Africa, a Grammy winner who called Nina Simone a close friend and a legend of our nation. At the height of apartheid, the late icon was in exile but remained a prominent voice of the oppressed back home. Her hit, Pata Pata, will forever be ageless.

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2. Brenda Fassie

Quick, what is the opening line to Weekend Special? You’d be hard pressed to find a South African who didn’t know it is: “You don’t come around/To see me in the week.” Dubbed ‘Madonna of the Townships’, Brenda Fassie was every bit the boundary-pusher that Madge is. Except, Brenda could actually sing. Brenda has since passed on, but her legacy lives on throughout the African continent.

Rebecca Malope

3. Rebecca Malope

Say what you will, but there is still no gospel artist who has outdone Rebecca Malope. She’s won just about every award which has the word “gospel’ in it. The icon has performed hits like Moya Wami  – sometimes while crawling on the floor as she is swept up by the spirit – and has released 32 albums to date.

Lebo Mathosa, Thembi Seete

4. Boom Shaka

Back when kwaito was in its infancy, the likes of Boom Shaka – who were on the pioneering Kalawa Jazmee record label – were at the forefront. The group comprised of two guys and two girls; Theo (singer) and Junior (selektah) as well as Thembi(rapper) and Lebo (lead singer), respectively. The two ladies were trendsetters who wore luminous colourful outfits, extra-long box-braids and danced in a manner that was passed raunchy. It was the early 90s and these ladies were pushing some very big envelopes. And, as their first hit single, It’s About Time, proved, they had the talent to back it all up. They both went on to have the most successful solo careers of the four, one of which was cut short when Lebo tragically passed away in the early naughties.


5. Lira

Lira began her career at kwaito label, 999, but she wasn’t comfortable being the only R&B voice in a stable full of kwaito kingpins. She kicked her new afro soul direction off with the infectious Feel Good. Lira has been nominated for international awards, won numerous local awards and appeared on the soundtrack to American TV series,Girlfriends. Her albums and live DVDs are some of the bestselling in the SA music industry, period.

source: Beatlab Tv

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