|Stage Name:||Simphiwe Dana|
|Real Name:||Simphiwe Dana|
|Occupation:||Singer-Songwriter, record producer|
|Date Of Birth/Age:||23 January 1980 (41 Years Old)|
|Place of Birth:||Gcuwa (Butterworth), Transkei, Eastern Cape, South Africa.|
|Education:||Vela Private School|
Simphiwe Dana is an award-winning South African Xhosa singer and songwriter. She is famous for her unique combination of various genres of music, Jazz, Afro-Soul, Traditional music, and Rap. Simphiwe has been hailed as the “new Miriam Makeba”.
With years of recording under her belt, she’s also famous for her social contributions, and for her activism. Her music is sometimes very political.
She is also a single mother to two children, and has successfully released 5 studio albums since she made her debut to the music scene.
Family & Beginnings
Simphiwe Dana was born on January 23rd, 1980 in Gcuwa (Butterworth), Transkei, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. She was raised in the town of Lusikisiki (situated in the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality).
She is the daughter of a preacher, and grew raised in a religious background. She constanted attended church where she was exposed to various kinds of music but mostly in choral and gospel forms. She learnt to sing at a young age.
Her music is strongly inspired by her upbringing in the Transkei and she also credits her mother’s powerful singing as a huge inspiration for her, and her siblings. She also cites it as the major motivator of her decision to pursue a career in music.
She began her music career in 2002, around what time she started to sing at small clubs in Johannesburg. It wasn’t long before she began to gain attention. Later on, in 2004, she recorded her first album, Zandisile and released it. It became a huge success in South Africa and won several awards including two South African Music Awards in 2005 (for Best Newcomer, and also Best Jazz Vocal Album).
The album also gained a lot of success in the Billboard charts after it was released worldwide. It also earned her an AVO Session Bassel Award. She has since released a total of five studio albums, all of which have been successes.
She is famous for releasing several hit songs including “Ndiredi“, “Troubled Soldier“, “Uzobuya Nini“, “Naphakade“, “Sonini Nanini“, “Zundiqondisise“, “Chula Ukunyathela“, “Bantu Bilo Street“, and more.
She also known to explore various themes with her music, and tackles various issues of politics in South Africa. She has garnered quite a fan base all over the world.
She announced on March, 2020, that she is contemplating leaving the music industry due to its financial instability. She revealed that she isn’t intending to “learn it the hard way” like her musical idols, Busi Mhlongo and Miriam Makeba did. She also stated that South Africa has no regard of its artists. She later on released her 5th studio album, “Bamako” the next month.
Simphiwe Dana schooled at the Vela Private School in Mthatha where she maticulated in 1997. She later studied for a National Diploma in IT at the Wits Technikon, Johannesburg. She’s always had an interest in graphic design.
Simphiwe announced herself majorly with the release of her debut album Zandisile which became an instant hit both locally and internationally. The album earned her various awards including two SAMAs for ‘Best Newcomer’ and also ‘Best Jazz Vocal Album”. The album also entered the Billboard charts, and earned her an AVO Session Bassel Award. She is regarded as the “new Miriam Makeba”.
She has also been likened to Dorothy Masuka. Her music blends traditional African music with contemporary soul, and also contains elements of Gospel and blues. Her pop songs have gained her a young fan following.
Simphiwe Dana Albums
Released in 2004 as her debut album, it won various awards, locally and internationally including two SAMAs. It also spawned the hits Ndiredi, Zandisile, and more.
The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street (2006)
This was released as a followup to Zandisile, and it earned her a “Best Female Artist” award. It spawned hits including “Bantu Biko Street“, and more.
Kulture Noir (2010)
This was a jazz album released four years after her second studio album. It contained songs including Udishiyile, Ilolo, Umzali Wami, and more. She is credited to have produced the album alongside various other record producers.
Firebrand (Special Edition) (2015)
Released in October 2015, the album contains tunes in various genres including Firebrand, Chibok, Jiya Jiya, and more.
This marked 16 years of her recording career. She announced it would be her last album as she was contemplating leaving the music industry. It was co-produced by the legendary Salif Keita, and named after the capital city of his country, Mali.
Other featured and Live Albums;
“Soul To Soul (2014)”, “Grand Masters (2015), “Celebratimg Ten Years At the Bassline (2016)”, “Ya Badimo (2016)”, “I Believe 2013 (2013)”.
Bantu Biko Street
Simphiwe Dana Performances & Media Presence
Simphiwe has maintained a strong presence both in the media and also with live appearances. She boasts consistent airplay, appearances at national events, festivals, and also hosts her own Live concerts.
She is known for her electrifying stage performances especially during her “An Evening With Simphiwe Dana Live In Concert“. She is usually accompanied by a 27-piece orchestra aw when sings her biggest hits.
Simphiwe Dana’s Relationships
Simphiwe has not been very lucky in love. She has single handedly raised her 17 year old daughter, and her son. She’s also been in various relationships which have not ended well.
In January 2020, she turned herself in at the Norwood Police station after her ex-fiancé, Lesotho Itsweng laid charges of assault and crimen injuria against her. The case was finally dropped after the prosecutor refused to proceed with it. She also filed a case of assault against him saying he spat in her face and strangled her. She revealed he threatened to slit her throat and get away with it.
Also, in April, she shared in a tweet that she was done dating SA men, who she called “the biggest gold diggers”.
Simphiwe Dana’s Net Worth
Simphiwe’s net worth is not public at the moment. However, based on her musical portfolio and future sales out look, high profile music concerts, royalties from major streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube and more, show bookings, properties and endorsements, she is projected to be worth millions of Rand.