Not only has her timeless music earned her the title Princess of Africa, she’s now recognised for her humanitarian work as an ambassador for the United Nations. Chaka Chaka is an inspiring woman who reminds other South African women of the power they have to build, influence and dominate, wherever they are.
Q. How would you define a woman?
A. A woman is an all-rounder, a fighter and a Well-Organised MAN (WOMAN).
One of South Africa’s legendary songstresses, Yvonne Chaka Chaka chats with Bonolo Sekudu about womanhood, popularity and ageing gracefully
Q. What does womanhood mean to you?
A. Women lifting each other up without kicking anyone else down the ladder once they get on top. There isn’t enough support among women – we should aspire to move past this mentality of segregating each other. Womanhood means not looking down on each other irrespective of your position in the ‘hierarchy’ and status.
Q. As someone who travels quite a lot, what do you love most about travelling?
A. I’ve had the privilege to travel for years and years since starting out in the music industry decades ago so whenever I travel, I bring something special back home from countries I visit, from clothes to furniture. That’s why my home of 26 years is such a special place for me.
Q. What are the three things you can’t travel without?
A. First on my list is definitely my Airwaves blackcurrant-flavoured gum – I never go anywhere without it. I love it! Second is my Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour face cream and third has to be my hand lotion.
Q. How would you describe your personal style?
A. Classy. I’m not into fashion trends but I love good-quality clothes. I still have clothes I bought in Paris and London during my early days of travelling and, although some don’t fit me anymore, I’ve kept them.
Q. What do you do to look this good at 50?
A. I’m a little lazy to do gym so I have to give credit to good genes – my late mother’s to be praised for what you see.
Q. What has popularity taught you?
A. For me, it was never about being popular but it comes with the perks of being in the industry. I’d say popularity taught me that nothing makes anyone who’s in a high position of power or influence better than the next person. It’s taught me to respect other people as human beings.
Q. What makes a good mother?
A. I’m a mother to four boys and I can tell you that being a good mother has no recipe. One of the decisions I made was to travel with my children from when they were little. As an artist who travelled all over the world I didn’t want to compromise on that. I promised to be a present mother no matter how busy my work schedule was.
Q. What has marriage taught you?
A. I’m blessed to have a husband who’s understanding and has been very supportive throughout my career. He let me be shared by other people. Marriage has taught me that working together and supporting each other makes a marriage complete.
Q. Without singing I…...
A. Am a ZERO.
Q. Music is my…….
Q. What are the three lessons you’ve learnt from show business?
A. Never take anything for granted. Your fans are your masters and the sky isn’t the limit. There aren’t limits to what you can be and what you can achieve.
Q. Which phrase has remained constant in your life?
A. God is the only one I will glorify.
Q. What are your thoughts on legacy?
A. Legacy to me is doing what I love best. I may not change the world but I live to do good, better! That’s what I want to be known and remembered for.