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Birth nameBusiswa Gqulu
Born (1988-11-08) 8 November 1988 (age 33)
Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • poet
Years active2008–present

Busiswa Gqulu (born 8 November 1988), known mononymously as Busiswa or Busi, is a South African singer-songwriter and poet. Born in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa,[1] she gained public recognition for her feature on DJ Zinhle's song, "My Name Is", after being discovered by Kalawa Jazmee's CEO Oskido.[2]

After a successful collaboration with DJ Zinhle, she released hits singles includes; "Ngoku", "Lahla", and was featured on Bhizer's hit, "Gobisiqolo".[3] On 8 December 2017, she released her debut album, Highly Flavoured, preceded by single, "Bazoyenza". Throughout her career, Gqulu has received numerous accolades. In 2014, she was named in the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans.[4]

Early life[edit]

Busiswa Gqulu was born on 8 November 1988 in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.[5] When she was young, her family relocated to Durban due to work by her parents[5] At the age of 15, Gqulu grew passion for writing poems. "I’ve been doing poetry since 2004 when I was in Grade 11", she recalled.[6] She performed her first poetry work at her grandmother's funeral.[7] In 2005, she joined the collective Young Basadzi Women of Poetry.[8][9] Since then, she performed her poetry at corporate events, poem sessions,[10] talent shows,[11] and festivals. She also hosted her monthly poetry events which are called "1st Word Sessions" at the Bat Centre in Durban.[12]

After high school,[13] Gqulu performed her poems while trying to find a proper job.[14] She was then employed at an art centre to teach school children arts.[15] Gqulu's parents supported her career choice as they had no money to take her to university.[16][17]


2011–2012: Career beginnings[edit]

While performing at live poetry readings, she met a befriend who introduced her to Sir Bubzin.[18] Sir Bubzin invited her while producing the song "Syaphambana". He then suggested to feature her in performing her poems on the track.[8] Gqulu and Sir Bubzin were later signed to Kalawa Record by the CEO, Oskido, after he heard the song.[19] The song was later released on the first Kalawa Jazmee Dance compilation in 2011.[20] Later that year, Gqulu was called by Oskido to record "My Name Is Busiswa" which was produced by DJ Zintle.[21]

The collaboration resulted in a co-writing credit for Gqulu.[22] After recording the song in 2011, she moved to Johannesburg in signing with Kalawa Jazmee Records.[9] The song was a hit and It received extensive airplays in South African radio stations since its release. Gqulu got gigs in several countries, including Zimbabwe, Angola, and Namibia. The song earned nominees at the Channel O Africa Music Video Award including Most Gifted Dance Video and Video of the Year. The song scoped another nomination at the South African Music Award for Record of the Year.[23]

2013–2016: Ngoku and Clash of Choirs[edit]

"Ngoku" was released on 11 March 2013 as a non-album single on iTunes. The song was accompanied by a video released on YouTube.[24] "Ngoku" became a dance hit with its catchy chorus. The track got several airplays and was commercially successful. Gqulu promoted the single by performing it on e.tv music show Club808, with Oskido. At the 2014 Channel O Africa Music Video Award, the song won Most Gifted Dance category and she performed the song later in the awards ceremony.[25]

In November 2013, Gqulu released a single, "Lahla"[26] featuring Dj Bucks and Uhuru. The song's video accumulated 1 million+ views on YouTube.[26] Gqulu along with Dj Bucks, performed the song live on SABC1 music show Live Amp.[27] She also performed the song at the 2015 Metro FM Awards.[28][29]

In September 2016, Gqulu joined the fourth season of Clash of the Choirs, as a Choirmaster with Kelly Khumalo,[30] Anele Mdoda,[31] JR, Bucie,[32] Sifiso Ncwane and IFANI. She was the choirmaster of the KwaZulu-Natal.[33] Her team was eliminated after a battle with team Western Cape led by IFANI.[34]

2017–2019: Highly Flavoured and Summer Life[edit]

In August 2017, Gqulu announced that her debut album would be entitled Highly Flavoured. Throughout the remainder of 2017, Gqulu was featured on several singles including Tipcee "Isichathulo" and Dj Maphorisa "Vuvushka" and "Midnight Starring".[35][36][37] "Bazoyenza" was released as the lead single for the album. Gqulu released her debut album Highly Flavoured, which features DJ Maphorisa, Busi N, DJ Athie, Da Fre, DJ Toxic, Nokwazi, Moozlie, Lando and Yasirah. The album was nominated at the South African Music Awards for Best Kwaito Album and for Best Female Artist.[38]

Gqulu officially announced her second studio album release, Summer Life, on her Instagram account; the album was released on 12 November 2018, independently, under Ngqulu new, own company Busiswa Entertainment.[39][40] On 31 August, Prince Kaybee released "Banomoya" featuring Busiswa and TNS.[41]

In 2019, Ngqulu received two nomination at the 25th South African Music Awards, in the Best Dance Album category for her critical acclaimed album Summer Life and Best Female Category.[42] Also in 2019, Busiswa featured on Beyoncé's The Lion King: The Gift album, on the track "My Power".[43]

2020-Present: AmaPiano crossover and My Side Of The Story[edit]

In 2020, she collaborated with South African Amapiano musician, Gaba Cannal on the single Umhlaba Wonke.[44] In that same year, she released her 3rd studio album titled My Side Of The Story which was built of AmaPiano songs, a departure from her dance and Gqom sounds also crossing over to AmaPiano. The album was supported by two singles, "Sbwl" which featured Kamo Mphela[45] and "Makazi" in which she featured Mr JazziQ.[46]

At the MTV Africa Music Awards, she received a nomination for Best Female act.[47]

Personal life[edit]

Gqulu spent her early years under the care and guidance of her late mother and grandmother who were a great influence in shaping her strong personality.[48] On 8 November 2017, she revealed that she was pregnant on her Instagram account.[49] On 8 January 2018, Gqulu gave birth to a son, Lakhanya Gqulu.[50][51]

In March 2021, her own-created documentary-reality show title "Her Majesty: Busiswa" premiered on BET Africa.[citation needed]

Other ventures[edit]

In addition to her music and poetry, Busiswa also works for Art for Humanity (AFH[52]) where she provides workshops for school children,[1] as a means to help develop an appreciation for poetry and the visual arts.[53] Gqulu also works with the Umlazi District Department of Education's Youth Development Office, tutoring learners on public speaking, debating and performance poetry.[54]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Busiswa Gqulu (South Africa) – Centre for Creative Arts". Cca.ukzn.ac.za. Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Busiswa Gqulu reflects on dark times". zalebs.com. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Gobisiqolo (feat. Busiswa, S.C Gorna & Trigger Bhepepe) – Bhizer Song – BBC Music". BBC. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Special Report – 200 Young South Africans – Mail & Guardian". Mail & Guardian.
  5. ^ a b "Press Reader". pressreader.com. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  6. ^ "South Africa: 14th Poetry Africa International Poetry Festival – Pambazuka News". Pambazuka.org.
  7. ^ "Choir out to make the province proud". Dispatchlive.co.za.
  8. ^ a b "Madau snub: Busiswa responds – The Chronicle". Chronicle.co.zw.
  9. ^ a b "ONEXTRA: Chikita Busiswa Gqulu". Daily Nation. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Busiswa Gqulu Archives". Poetry Potion. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Spotted: Mpumalanga comes alive festival". Zkhiphani.co.za.
  12. ^ "Tumelo Khoza". literarytourism.co.za. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Inside Busiswa Gqulu's baby shower – Sandton24 Digital". Sandton24.com. 28 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Music – BGMP Media Group". bgmpmedia.co.za. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  15. ^ "5 Gqom artists you need to know – Live Mag". Livemag.co.za. 10 October 2017.
  16. ^ "WATCH – Busiswa was once told she could never be a 'cover girl'". Sunday Times (Johannesburg).
  17. ^ "Busiswa". Mzansi Magic Official Website – Busiswa.
  18. ^ "Who is Uhuru? – e.tv". Etv.co.za.
  19. ^ "Busiswa celebrates birthday with good news – SA Breaking News". Sabreakingnews.co.za. 9 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Kalawa Chikita Busiswa Reveals She's Pregnant (Photos)". Vuzunews.com. 9 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Coke Studio Season 3 -Busiswa". Coke.co.za.
  22. ^ "DJ Zinhle on coming back to music". Chaneel24.co.za.
  23. ^ "Full list of winners at the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards". modernghana.com. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Busiswa "Ngoku" ft Oskido & Uhuru". 4 September 2013 – via YouTube.
  25. ^ "Channel O Africa Music Video Awards performers announced – NewsDay Zimbabwe". Newsday.co.zw.
  26. ^ a b "Busiswa feat DJ Buckz, Uhuru 'Lahla' Offical [sic] Music Video". 12 November 2014 – via YouTube.
  27. ^ "DETAILS". SABC1. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  28. ^ "14th Metro FM Music Awards rock Durban – Durban ICC – Events and Entertainment Venue". Icc.co.za.
  29. ^ "PressReader - the Mercury: 2015-06-25 - is Busiswa Africa's finest?". Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  30. ^ "Do you have what it takes to enter Clash of the Choirs? – Events – Review". Reviewonline.co.za. Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  31. ^ "IOL – News that Connects South Africans". Independent Online. South Africa.
  32. ^ "Channel24.co.za – Entertainment now". Channel.
  33. ^ "Team Robbie, KZN wins Mzansi Magic's Clash of the Choirs SA Season 2 – Alberton Record". Albertonrecord.co.za. 7 July 2014.
  34. ^ "Clash of the Choirs welcomes new presenter!". Mzansi Magic Official Website – Clash of the Choirs welcomes new presenter!.
  35. ^ "Chi King, Cavie, Dana Dane & Wayne G 'Highly Flavored' (Feat. Bo Roc) – the Hype Magazine". Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  36. ^ "NEW ALBUM ALERT: Busiswa Drops Highly Flavoured". Zkhiphani.co.za.
  37. ^ "Tipcee 'iScathulo' (feat. Busiswa, DJ Tira & Distruction Boyz) – Stream & Download MP3! – JustZA". Justza.com. 8 September 2017. Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  38. ^ "SAMA Awards Nominees 2018 – Record of the Year Announced! – My TV News". Mytvnews.co.za. 21 April 2018.
  39. ^ "Listen to Busiswa's New Album 'Summer Life' Featuring RudeBoyz, Dladla Mshunqisi, Uhuru And More". okayafrica.com. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  40. ^ "Busiswa to Release an Independent Album". Daily Sun. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  41. ^ "Prince Kaybee Reveals New Single, Banomoya, Ft. Busiswa & TNS". 16 August 2018.
  42. ^ "FULL LIST | Sama nominees leave Mzansi split over the 'death of Kwaito'". TimesLIVE.
  43. ^ "Beyoncé: THE LION KING: THE GIFT (2019)". Beyonce.com. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  44. ^ "Gaba Cannal Enlists Busiswa in New Amapiano Banger 'Umhlaba Wonke'". Okay Africa. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  45. ^ "Busiswa and Kamo Mphela Summon The Summer in New Visuals for Their Single 'SBWL'". Okay Africa. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  46. ^ "Busiswa enjoys the good life in makazi music video, featuring Mr JazziQ". Just Nje. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  47. ^ "Here Are the 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards Nominees". OkayAfrica. 11 December 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  48. ^ "Celebrate Spring Bash with Busiswa at the Carousel | Hammanskraal". Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  49. ^ "Busiswa Gqulu on Instagram: 'Happy Birthday to us!'". Instagram. Archived from the original on 24 December 2021.
  50. ^ "Congrats! Busiswa's baby has arrived". Sunday Times (Johannesburg).
  51. ^ "Busiswa Gqulu on Instagram: "As We put all our faith in you my lord @kaygee_thevibe thank you for being with me through this journey #babystarringontheway"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 24 December 2021.
  52. ^ "KZNSA – ART OF HUMAN RIGHTS". Kznsagallery.co.za.
  53. ^ "Oskido on egos' Bongo Maffin reunion and Busiswa's future at Kalawa Jazmee". Dispatchlive.co.za.
  54. ^ "Busiswa Gqulu shows off her bae". M.news24.com.

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