Kelly Khumalo

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Kelly Khumalo
Kelly Khumalo.png
Kelly Nonhlanhla Khumalo

(1984-11-11) 11 November 1984 (age 37)
NationalitySouth African
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • dancer
  • actress
  • brand influencer
  • television personality
Years active2005 - present
TelevisionLife with Kelly khumalo
Partner(s)Senzo Meyiwa
(until his death; 2014)
  • Christian Khumalo
  • Thingolenkosazana Khumalo
  • Ntombi Khumalo (mother)
Musical career
OriginJohannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Kelly Nonhlanhla Khumalo (born November 11, 1984) is a South African singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer.[1] Born and raised in Nquthu, KwaZulu-Natal, she was discovered while performing at a gospel talent search and signed a record deal with Bonsai Entertainment, released her debut studio album T.K.O (2005).[2] She shot to fame after the release of her debut album T.K.O (2005).[3] She was named the Best Newcomer of 2005 in the Afro Pop music circuit. The Past, The Present, The Future album was released on 5 November 2012. In May 2013, She scooped award at the 19th South African Music Awards.[4][5]

Khumalo's ninth album The Voice of Africa (2020),[6] which incorporated elements of R&B, gospel and Afro pop. The album was certified gold in South Africa.

Life and career[edit]

Kelly Khumalo was born in Katlehong and moved to KwaZulu-Natal. She relocated to Gauteng in 1997.[7]

T.K.O (2005), Itshitshi (2006)[edit]

Kelly debut solo album T.K.O was released on August 19, 2005, in South Africa, and earned her two nominations Song of the Year and Best Afro Pop album at 2006 South African Music Awards.[7]

On September 27, 2006, her second studio album Itshitshi was released.

The Past, The Present, The Future (2012), Back to My Roots(2014), My Truth (2016), Unleashed (2018)[edit]

On November 5, 2012, The Past, The Present, The Future album was released in South Africa.[8][9] At the 19th SAMA awards (2013) her album The Past, The Present, The Future won the Best Female Artist of the Year award.[10][11][12]

In October 2014, the single "Asine" was released and nominated for Song of The Year at Metro FM Awards (2015), and her album, Back to my Roots for Best African Pop Album and nominated for Best African Adult Album at South African Music Awards XXXI (2015).[13][14]

Kelly began recording her seventh studio album in March 2016.[15] On October 28, 2016, her seventh studio album My Truth was released. My Truth won Best Female Album at 2017 Metro FM Awards.[16]

In January 2018, Kelly began to work on her eighth studio album, and released it's lead single "Jehovah" on July 9, 2018, featuring J F.L.O.[17]

On October 9, she announced second single "Dance Comigo" on her instagram, which was released on October 12, 2018.[17]

On November 5, 2018, her album Unleashed was released in South Africa.[18] The album was produced by Mondli Ngcobo.

2020-present: The Voice of Africa, Gospel Explosion Concert, Upcoming album[edit]

In August 28, her single "Empini" was released as album's lead single. The song was certified gold by the Recording Industry of South Africa with sales of 80 000 units and garnered 12 million views on YouTube.[19][20] Her ninth studio album The Voice of Africa was released on October 9, 2020. Production was handled by Mondli Ngcobo. The Voice of Africa was certified gold with sales of 25 000 units in South Africa.[21] At 6th ceremony of All Africa Music Awards, her single "Empini" received nomination for Best Female Artist in South Africa.[22]

"Esiphambaweni" featuring South African singer Hlengiwe Mhlaba, peaked number one in the gospel charts.[23][24][25] At 27th South African Music Awards The Voice of Africa received a nomination as Best Afro-pop Album.

In November 2021, she recorded The Voice of Africa live version.[26]

In April 2022, Khumalo performed at her first annual Gospel Explosion Concert, includes two dates, 15-16 April held at the Lyric Theatre in Johannesburg.[27][28]

In April 28, following the success of 2 dates, she added one more date that were held at Vaal on May 28.[29]

In late August 2022, Kelly announced From A God To A King tour, scheduled to start off on Saturday 17 September at Carnival City, Boksburg.[30][31]

Khumalo also announced her 10th upcoming album From A God To A King.[31]


In 2021, she started her reality show Life with Kelly Khumalo airs on Showmax.[32] In September 2021, she appeared on House of Zwide, television sopie airs on etv.[33]

In September 2021, Khumalo was announced as Judge on Stand Up S.A.[34]

Towards the end of 2021, she was a guest judge on Idols South Africa season 17.[35][36]

In early April 2022, she was announced as a competitor on Tropika Island of Treasure, season 10.[37]


On 26 October 2014, her boyfriend Senzo Meyiwa captain of the South Africa men's national football team and club side Orlando Pirates with whom she has a child was shot dead in her presence at her family's home in Vosloorus.[38][39] It is alleged that the killer is known to Khumalo and everyone present at the shooting but she has remained silent on who the killer is. No evidence was found that leads to the murder case.

Personal life[edit]

Speaking out about having been in an abusive relationship, in 2012 she became an advocate against domestic violence.[40] The singer confessed to being a drug addict for at least two years during her relationship with the singer Molemo Maarohanye, she attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings.[41]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums
Title Album details
Simply Kelly
The Past,The Present,The Future
Back to My Roots
My Truth
The Voice Of Africa[42]


  • Zulu Wedding (2017)
  • uSkroef
  • No Sexy: In Kgantse And Kenny's Paradise
  • Life with Kelly Khumalo (2021)
  • Stand Up South Africa as Judge
  • Idols South Africa as Guest Judge

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Nominated work Result Ref.
2013 SAMA Best Female Artist Won [4]
2015 14th Metro FM Awards Song of the Year Nominated [43][44][45]
Best Afro Pop album Nominated
2019 25th SAMA Female Artist of the Year Nominated [46]
Best Afro Pop Album Nominated
2020 1st KZNEA Best Female Artist of the Year Nominated [47]
2021 27th SAMA Best Afro pop Album Pending [48]
Record of the Year Pending
Saafma Best Song of the Year Pending [49]
Best Female Artist Pending
Best Collaboration Pending
2021 All Africa Music Awards Songwriter of the Year Nominated [50]
Best Female Artist in African Inspirational Music Nominated
Best Female Artist in South Africa Nominated


  1. ^ "Hot facts about Kelly Khumalo that you may not know". 27 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Kelly Khumalo | Music In Africa". Music In Africa. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Get to know: Kelly Khumalo".
  4. ^ a b "Kelly Khumalo shines at the SAMA 19", e-Buzz, 14 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Kelly Khumalo Scores Senzo Meyiwa’s Heart?" The Public News Hub, 7 July 2013.
  6. ^ "KELLY KHUMALO RELEASES NEW ALBUM". 14 October 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Kelly Khumalo – Conference Entertainer". Speakers Inc. 5 December 2014.
  8. ^ "The Past, The Present, The Future by Kelly Khumalo on Jaxsta - Overview". Jaxsta.
  9. ^ "The Past, The Present, The Future Album by | MyMuze". MyMuze.
  10. ^ Staff Reporter (13 May 2013). "Sama cheat sheet: All the big winners". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  11. ^ wwcadmin (13 May 2013). "The SAMA 2013 Winners". GQ.
  12. ^ Paula Luckhoff. "No-one is responsible for your happiness but you - Kelly Khumalo". 702. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Kelly Khumalo goes international | News24". News24. CityPress. 18 February 2015.
  14. ^ Sikhumbuzo Thabede (24 March 2015). "My Journey - #Kelly Khumalo". Biz Community.
  15. ^ "KK comes clean with My Truth". Independent Online. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Metro FM Awards fire up musicians, politicians | Music In Africa". Music In Africa. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  17. ^ a b "Kelly Khumalo's new single titled 'Dance Comigo' releases in three days' time - JustNje". JustNje. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  18. ^ Mkhabela, Sabelo. "Listen to Kelly Khumalo's New Album 'Unleashed' Featuring Vusi Nova and Kyle Deutsch - OkayAfrica". OkayAfrica. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  19. ^ Darangwa, Shingai (21 May 2022). "WATCH: Kelly Khumalo awarded several gold and platinum plaques". Independent Online. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  20. ^ Bukola (4 August 2021). "Kelly Khumalo's 'Empini' hits 9million views | Fakaza Newss". Fakaza News.
  21. ^ Zwane, Nokuthula (20 May 2022). "Kelly Khumalo celebrates her album going gold | Channel". South Africa: Channel. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  22. ^ Hansen, Gabriel Myers. "All Africa Music Awards 2021: All the nominees | Music In Africa". Music In Africa. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  23. ^ "Kelly Khumalo enjoys number one song success". The Citizen. 28 October 2020.
  24. ^ "Kelly Khumalo's 'Esphambanweni' hits the number 1 spot on 3 charts".
  25. ^ Lwandle, Sibusisiwe (5 November 2020). "Kelly Khumalo: Singer's Empini track stays on top of charts". Briefly.
  26. ^ "Kelly Khumalo stuns with live version of 'The Voice of Africa' album [watch]". The South African. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  27. ^ Shumba, Ano (16 March 2022). "SA: Kelly Khumalo to host Gospel Explosion concert | Music In Africa". Music In Africa. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  28. ^ Naidoo, Sonri (15 March 2022). "Kelly Khumalo talks about hosting 'Gospel Explosion'". Independent Online. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  29. ^ Maliba, Amanda (18 April 2022). "Khumalo extends run of Gospel Explosion concert to the Vaal". SowetanLIVE. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  30. ^ Darangwa, Shingai (24 August 2022). "Kelly Khumalo set to embark on her 'From A God To A King' tour - IOL". Independent Online. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  31. ^ a b de Wee, Naledi (22 August 2022). "'From A God To A King': Kelly Khumalo set to kick off music tour". The South African. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  32. ^ Bukola (29 July 2021). "Kelly Khumalo to air last episode of her show, 'Life With Kelly Khumalo' | Fakaza News". Fakaza News.
  33. ^ Lwandle, Sibusisiwe. "Kelly Khumalo Jumps Back Into Acting, Bags Role on 'House of Zwide". Briefly. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  34. ^ Tsewu, Siya (3 September 2021). "New family singing competition coming to SABC 2 | Drum". South Africa: Drum.
  35. ^ Israel A, John (1 November 2021). "Kelly Khumalo Pops As Guest Judge On Idols South Africa". Ubetoo. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  36. ^ Nyhaba, Theo (22 August 2021). "Kelly Khumalo tipped to replace Somizi as 'Idols SA' judge - Sunday World". Sunday World. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  37. ^ Maliba, Amanda (1 April 2022). "Kelly Khumalo back with Tropika Island of Treasure". SowetanLIVE. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  38. ^ Bongani Hans and Kutlwano Olifant [1], He died in my arms – Kelly Khumalo, IOL news, 30 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  39. ^ Citizen Reporter and Sapa [2], Kelly Khumalo now welcome at Meyiwa's funeral, The Citizen, 30 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  40. ^ "Toxic is an understatement, says Kelly Khumalo", The Sowetan, 2 November 2012.
  41. ^ City Press. [3] Archived 7 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine, ‘I was an addict’ – Kelly Khumalo, 8 February 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  42. ^ "Kelly Khumalo The Voice Of Africa (TVOA) Album", Afrobeat ZA, 10 October 2020.
  43. ^ "2015 Metro FM Music Awards Nominees List". 23 January 2015.
  44. ^ "Full list: Metro FM Music Awards nominees".
  45. ^ "14th Metro FM Music Awards nominees announced". 26 January 2015.
  46. ^ "All the 2019 SAMA winners".
  47. ^ Bukola (17 December 2020). "See all the winners from the first KZN Entertainment Awards". Fakaza News.
  48. ^ Shumba, Ano (19 May 2021). "South African Music Awards 2021: All the nominees". Music In Africa.
  49. ^ "Star-studded list of nominees for 2021 South African Afro Music Awards". Sowetan LIVE. 7 May 2021.
  50. ^ Hansen, Gabriel Myers (23 September 2021). "All Africa Music Awards 2021: All the nominees | Music In Africa". Music In Africa. Retrieved 21 November 2021.

"Gospel Song Release - Esphambanweni featuring Dr Hlengiwe Mhlaba", AmenRadio, 12 Sept 2020.

External links[edit]