Zonke

Background

South African R&B and Afro-soul singer Zonke has carved out a distinctive position in the musical landscape. She’s one of the country’s biggest stars but also the only female hitmaker in the game.

Unlike almost every other female singer on the vibrant SA music scene, Zonke not only plays to thousands and releases multi-platinum albums, she also writes and produces her own material.

Zonke Dikana has long been one of the most accomplished songwriters on the SA music scene. She has written and co-written hits for dance artist Winnie Khumalo, kwaito rapper Thebe, late R&B star TK and also worked with legends like Bongo Maffin and Oskido.

Zonke has had a unique path to the top of the South African R&B heap. Her fourth studio album, Work Of Heart, sees a career of dedication and commitment continue with another assured work of talent and creative genius. It is destined to become another South African classic.

Viva taught her much of what she knows about music – the theory of composition, but also how the industry works. He inspired her to become not just a successful artist, but a creative force and a successful business person in a highly competitive industry. Zonke honours her dad on her classic track, Viva The Legend from the Ina Ethe album.

The teachers at Masiphatisani High in Motherwell township outside PE were mildly disappointed when their favourite pupil expressed dreams of a career in music. “You want to be an artist?” they’d say. “Pity.”

“But that just made me more determined to make a success of it,” says Zonke. “To prove them wrong. I knew I was going to build a career in this industry, no matter how long it took me.”

Her initial break proved elusive, and she spent several years as a session vocalist on the Johannesburg scene, recording tracks for advertising jingles and singing backing on songs by established artists. Read more

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