What do you do when you’re in love with a DJ? You sing about it! “I’m in love with a DJ” was Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s first hit way back in 1985, when she was just 19 years old.
I have met quite a few amazing women in music in my life. Some of them are singing students of mine. Others have been in the music industry for many years, like Dorothy Masuka, who wrote Miriam Makeba’s smash hit, PataPata (I met her at the SAMRO Builders’ Awards back in 2012, when SAMRO celebrated its 50th birthday). I also met SibongileKhumalo at Moshito(an annual music conference in Jozi) a few years ago, and I was struck by her humility. The same thing happened at Moshito this year, when I met Yvonne Chaka Chaka. The thing that also struck me the most about her?Her humility.
Now Yvonne and I have a history, although she doesn’t know it. Back in 2006, my former music partner and I entered a music competition arranged by Top Billing. Yvonne Chaka Chaka was one of the judges. We entered a series of original songs, and won an award called the Top Billing Lifestyle Award for music, beating other entrants and future SAMA winners Goldfish and Moreira. My partner Florence contacted Yvonne to thank her for her vote, and she even replied, with the same graciousness and humility as she demonstrated the other day when I saw her again.
She actually walked up to me, greeted me, and asked me how I was. This is a woman who has been appointed a UN goodwill ambassador. If she wanted to, she could walk around with airs and graces pretending to be better than other people. But instead she was on the floor, speaking to people.
And her simple advice to the delegates who attended the music conference? Serve the people. Amen. No wonder she’s so successful. Thank you for sharing with us.