Zonke

Zonke (born Zonke Dikana) is a South African R&B and African pop singer, songwriter and musician. Her album titled “Life, Love ‘n Music” was released in 2007 through Oskido‘s Kalawa Jazmee Records and Universal Music since then she has gone on to enjoy sustained success and releasing hit songs such as “Feelings” and “Reach It” among others.

Zonke-Dikana
Born Zonke Dikana
1980
Port Elizabeth
Eastern Cape
South Africa
Known As Zonke
Occupation Singer, Songwriter
Musician, Producer
Genre R&B, Afro Soul
Record Label Sony Music
Associated Acts Lulu Dikana †, Oskido
Frank Roger, Black Coffee
Bongo Maffin, Mafikizolo
JazzKantine
Since 1996 – to date
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

Zonke was born Zonke Dikana in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

She is a daughter of Vuyisile Dikana † (father) a drummer who once featured on one of Simply Red’s albums and Fundie Peter † (mother) who was a medical technologist/writer.

She is one of four sisters; this is according to First Step website. Her one sister is the late fame musician, Lulu Dikana†, who passed away on December 3, 2014 after a short, undisclosed illness.

Zonke’s eldest sister is Siwe; she a regulatory reporting and compliance specialist for a financial institution. Her youngest sister is Asanda.

Her father,Vuyisile Dikana †, who has since passed away lived in Johannesburg in the Gauteng province with her stepmother, Anneline Malebo, whom she credits for encouraging her to pursue music.

In 1996 Zonke moved to the city of Johannesburg to live with her father. She had planned to study at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University). It is understood that she attended the University of Bloemfontein where she studied Human Resources Management.

She began her music career after she moved to Johannesburg. At the time she was serving as a backing vocalist reportedly for Bongo Maffin. It has also been reported that Zonke sometimes stood in for Bongo Maffin’s Thandiswa Mazwai.

It is understood that Zonke’s early career was linked to Kalawa Jazmee Records and its central figure, Oskido, who reportedly told her that her sound was “too international” and that it probably wouldn’t work in a local market that had a strong house music presence.

However this did not serve as a deterrent; despite the nervousness Zonke stuck to her guns and pursued the very same path she intended to. Her debut solo album titled “Solitary” was recorded and released in 2004 in Europe to great reception. Upon the release of her album she described her music, “What I bring on the table is new and exclusively mine. For me to go and seek a recording deal, I need to be sure of my talent and my creativity, which I am certain that I have.”

Although successful overseas, Zonke decided to return to South Africa. In one interview speaking about the move she was quoted saying, “It didn’t feel right being overseas making it when back home nobody had a clue who I was. It was important for me to make my way back home. After all, that’s where my heart has always been.”

 

 

Life, Love ’n Music and beyond, 2007 – to date

In January 2007 Zonke released her second studio album, “Life, Love ‘n Music“, through Universal Music and Kalawa Jazmee Records. The album was released to critical acclaim and is her best known early work in South Africa. She described making the album as “long and tiring, but at the same time exciting”.

Zonke Ina Ethe Album CoverIn October 2011 she released her third studio album titled “Ina Ethe“. According to channel O, Ina Ethe means Give and Take in Zonke’s native language, IsiXhosa. She dedicated the album to her late father, Vuyisile Dikana †, and paid tribute to him in a song titled “Viva the Legend“. The album spawned hit songs such as “Jiki’izinto“, “I know a Place“, “Mzi Kaphalo” and most notably “Feelings“.

In October 2013 Zonke release a live compilation album titled “Give and Take”. The album carried 21 tracks including “Ina Ethe“, “Say Now“, “Jiki’izinto” and “Feelings“; and was released through Leely Music and Sony Music Entertainment Africa. The album won the South African Music Award for Best African Adult Album.

Zonke Work of Heart Album CoverIn September 2015 she released her fourth studio album and fifth overall titled “Work of heart“. The album was released to critical acclaim leading with its much heralded hit single “Reach It“.

Zonke was quoted by Destiny Connect as saying about the album, “I felt so exposed on Feelings, until I realised that people actually don’t care – people want to listen to something honest and to something they can relate to, and that’s why with Work of Heart, I’ve really been able to let go and be unafraid and unapologetic in the deliverance of my own personal truth”.

The album, Work of Heart, has been nominated three times at the upcoming 15th Annual Metro FM Music Awards scheduled to take place at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (Durban ICC) in the city of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal province. It has been nominated for Best R&B Single for “Reach It“, Best African Pop Album for Work of Heart and Best Female Artist also for Work of Heart.

 

 

Discography

Year Title Record Label Notes
2004 Solitary Sony Music Debut Studio Album, Released in Europe
2007 Life, Love ‘n Music Kalawa Jazmee & Universal Second Studio Album
2011 Ina Ethe Sony Music Africa Third Studio Album
2013 Give and Take Sony Music Africa & Leely Music Live Compilation Alum
2015 Work of Heart Sony Music Africa Fourth Studio Album

 

 

 

X Factor South Africa

In July 2014 Zonke was announced the judge of the South African version of the Simon Cowell created X Factor. She was joined by record producer and Kalawa Jazmee Records founder, Oskido and South African rock musician, Arno Carstens with Andile Ncube being brought on as the host. The X Factor South Africa ran for a single season but did not return for the second.

 

 

Personal Life

Zonke was in a relationship with Tumi Mokoena, a lawyer who at the time was reportedly her manager. The pair had a baby boy in 2012. “I’m so excited I can’t tell you. I have wanted another baby so much. It’s always been on the cards for me to have another baby but, being an artist, it’s not that easy to have a family,” Zonke told Drum magazine while still pregnant. She has a daughter named Milani, this is according to the same Drum magazine article.

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