“The creative industry should be taken seriously, because we mirror our societies.”
The public loves Yvonne. Her inimitable and distinctive alto voice is as warm as she is personable and gracious to her audiences. Yvonne states emphatically, “I love performing for my audiences.” Her music awards include the SAMA, KORA, OKTV, Autumn Harvest, and a host of others for musical excellence.
Yvonne’s personal messages are woven throughout every song she’s written. With musical beats that span afro-traditional to a world sound imbedded into several tracks, the power of the music equals the power of Yvonne’s clear social and spiritual advice to her audience.
Acknowledgments from an appreciative music industry are reflected in the platinum, gold, and silver hit records proudly hanging in the reception room of her studio: (From her debut single I am in love with the DJ, I am Burning Up, I Cry for Freedom, Makoti, Motherland, Be Proud To Be African, Thank You Mr. DJ, Bombani, and Umqombothi (featured in the opening scene of the 2005 movie Hotel Rwanda). And 1828 the list is endless.
Yvonne has been in the music industry for more than 25 years. She has shared the stage with megastars such as Bono, Angelique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Youssou N'Dour, the classic rock band Queen, and South Africans Johnny Clegg, Miriam Makeba, and Hugh Masekela, to name a few.
Yvonne has performed for HRM Queen Elizabeth, US President Bill Clinton, South African President Thabo Mbeki, and many other world leaders. As a young performer Yvonne was the first black child to appear on South African television, in 1981.
Since then she has consistently developed her creative capabilities and expanded her media repertoire to include musician, record producer, talk radio and television shows, and acting in several South African television dramas. In 2009 Yvonne went on to shot her debut feature film, FOREIGN DEMOS, in which she plays the Lead role as JOSEPHINE. There seems to be no end to Yvonne’s talents.
Yvonne has met many luminaries in her illustrious career; she says her favourite is mentor and father figure, Nelson Mandela. He calls her his “dear daughter.” “Madiba” as he is affectionately known, recounts that it was Yvonne’s music that helped sustain him, and others, while confined as prisoners on Robben Island.
He says, “It is what we make of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another. Yvonne, you are a testament to my belief. You have made all of South Africa proud to claim you as a national icon. You have motivated millions of women and men on our continent. Your generosity has benefited untold numbers of families and orphans facing the challenges of AIDS, terminal illness, abuse, poverty, and illiteracy. I know you will always make your indelible mark wherever you go, and with whatever you do. There is no stopping you! You will always be my Princess of Africa.”
“Life is what you make it, be what you want to be and do what you want to do…”
1989 - Chaka Chaka Promotions was formed
1995 – Chaka Chaka Music (Yvonne’s own music lable)
2007 – Princess of Africa Foundation (Humanitarian NPO)
Also a board member of Information Technology Companies, Human Resource Development and Sandown Motors. She became the face of First National Bank (FNB) in 2001.
Her philosophy is, “When we are born we come with nothing. And when we die, we die with nothing. ‘God thank you for the life that you have given me. I love life, and I live it to the fullest.’” “We are the instruments of Heaven. Our work is not design, but destiny.” African icon Yvonne Chaka Chaka is living her destiny, and those who understand her message are enriched by it.