Yvonne Chaka Chaka (born by Yvonne Machaka on 18th March 1965) is an internationally recognized South African singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and teacher.
Dubbed the “Princess of Africa” (a name she received after a 1990 tour), Chaka Chaka has been at the forefront of South African popular music for 27 years and has been popular in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Gabon, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast. Songs like “I’m Burning Up”, “Thank You Mr. DJ”, “I Cry For Freedom”, “Motherland” and the ever-popular “Umqombothi” (“African Beer”) ensured Chaka Chaka’s stardom. The song “Umqombothi” was featured in the opening scene of the 2004 movie Hotel Rwanda.
Chaka Chaka is a champion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and malaria, the United Nations MDG Envoy for Africa, and the Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. She was chosen by Nelson Mandela as the first ambassador for his children’s fund and has also established her own charity, the Princess of Africa Foundation, using the name first given to her in Uganda. The Princess of Africa Foundation is a partner of the ACTION global health advocacy partnership. In 2012, she was the first African woman to receive the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award.
Life and Career
Chaka Chaka was born in Dobsonville in Soweto. Chaka Chaka had it tough growing up. Her father died when she was 11 and her mother, a domestic worker, brought up three daughters on her meagre 40-rand-a-month salary.
Chaka Chaka started singing at 19 in 1984 when Phil Hollis of Dephon Records discovered her in Johannesburg. Dubbed “the Princess of Africa”, Chaka Chaka experienced a meteoric rise as a music star of infectious pop melodies and dance music during the height of apartheid. Her début album was called I’m In Love With a DJ. Songs like “I’m Burning Up”, “I Cry for Freedom”, “Sangoma”, “Motherland” and the ever-popular “Umqombothi” immediately ensured Chaka Chaka’s status as a star on South Africa’s mbaqanga music scene.
- I’m Burning Up (1986)
- Sangoma (1987)
- Thank You, Mr. DJ (1987)
- I Cry For Freedom (1988)
- The Power of Afrika (1996)
- Back On My Feet (1997)
- Bombani (Tiko Rahina) (1997)
- Princess Of Africa: The Best of Yvonne Chaka Chaka (1999)
- Yvonne and Friends (2000)
- Yvonne and Friends (2001)
- Kwenzenjani (2002)
- Princess of Africa, Vol. 2 (2002)
- Celebrate Life (2006)
- Ndi Phendule
- The Princess of Africa: The Best of Yvonne Chaka Chaka (1995)
- The Princess of Africa: The Best of Yvonne Chaka Chaka Vol. 2 (2002)
Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s net worth is estimated to be around $1 Million – $5 Million, according to the list of South Celebrities and Net Worth in 2021.