Sho Madjozi

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Sho Madjozi
Sho Madjozi March 2019.png
Sho Madjozi performing at an Edgars Fashion Show in March 2019
Background information
Birth nameMaya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif
Also known asMayaThePoet[1]
Born (1992-05-09) 9 May 1992 (age 27)
Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa
Associated acts

Maya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif (born 9 May 1992), known professionally as Sho Madjozi, is a South African rapper, singer, songwriter, actress and poet.[1] Regarded as one of the best performers in Africa, Madjozi incorporates the Tsonga culture through her music and public image.

Madjozi earned recognition following the release of her debut album Limpopo Champions League, which experimented in fusing elements from various genres including hip hop and Tsonga music.

Life and career[edit]

1992–2016: Early life and beginnings[edit]

Madjozi was born on May 9, 1992, in Shelly Village, Elim, Limpopo, the daughter of Rosemary Phaweni and Marc Wegerif who ran a non-governmental organisation which was made to assist people with their land claims. Her mother is of African descent while her father is of European descent.[2] After her parents divorced at an early age, she was mainly brought up by her mother. Madjozi has half-sisters from her mother's side and her father's side. As her father, Marc Wegerif, traveled regularly in particular regions of the continent, Madjozi had opportunities to travel with her father – she followed him to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where he worked for the charitable organisation Oxfam while she was a teenager.[3] She also spent some time in Senegal.

After graduating high school in Tanzania, Madjozi was offered a scholarship to Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MassachusettsUS to study creative writing and African studies. While in the US, she started writing poems under a pen name of MayaThePoet.[4] The poems were about politics, identity and race. Madjozi returned to South Africa where she took up a fellowship in studying at the University of South Africa, Johannesburg, while also planned songwriting for other local artists.[5] After her return to South Africa, she began rapping and composing music under her stage name "Sho Madjozi". Madjozi rose to fame after her collaboration with rapper Okmalumkoolkat on the track "Ngiyashisa Bhe" and the hit single, "Gqi".[6][7]

2017–present: Limpopo Champions League[edit]

On April 2017, Madjozi made her television appearance as one of the casts of Mzansi Magic drama telenovela Isithembiso. She played Tsakane Mboweni – character passionately involved in student politics – for the inaugural season.[8]

Madjozi released her debut single, "Dumi HiPhone" featuring disc jockey duo PS DJz, on April 28, 2017 which was well received by the public.[9] The song didn't make it to the final track listing on Madjozi's debut album. She also appeared on DJ Maphorisa BlaqBoy Music Presents Gqom Wave (2017) where she was featured on the track "Probleme".[10] On March 9, 2018, she released the lead single "Huku" from her debut album Limpopo Champions League.[11] On June 27, 2018, Trace Urban South Africa announced their partnership with Madjozi, making her the ambassador for their mobile pre-paid provider TRACE Mobile.[12] On August, Madjozi alongside singer Chris Martin announced and explained how the entry works of the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, through a YouTube video uploaded by Global Citizen. Later on December 2, 2018, Sho Madjozi performed at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 which was headlined by Beyonce and Jay-Z.[13]

Limpopo Champions League, Madjozi's debut studio album was released on December 14, 2018.[14] The album was also supported by the 5-minute short-film of the song "Trickshot".[15] On June 1, 2019, Madjozi earned two wins at the 25th edition of South African Music Awards for Newcomer of the Year and for Best Female Album. She also received nominees for categories: Best Music Video for "Huku" and for Best Kwaito, Gqom & AmaPiano Album for Limpopo Champions League.[16] As for June 23, 2019, Madjozi received a BET Award for Best New International Act at the BET Awards 2019.[17]

Public image[edit]

Madjozi uses a Tsonga signature style concerning her music and fashion sense. Being unapologetically proud of her culture, Tsonga, she commonly plays with the traditional wear. Madjozi usually performs the indigenous xibelani dance where she wears a skirt called a tinguvu around her waist, then shakes the waist which creates attentiveness on her performances.[18][19] Besides her culture-influenced style, Madjozi dismisses a colorful image with many elements attached. Superbalist writer Kenny Morifi-Winslow added, "I think there is an interesting transfer of energy when our favorite parts of public figures become the things that we hid from ourselves or tried to change", commending Madjozi.[20]


"My braids represent Afro futurism. The question is: what would a globalised young African be if she was not interrupted by the horror of colonialism and apartheid? My braids are the answer."

—Madjozi on her appealing hairstyles[21]

Madjozi is well-known for her hairstyles influenced by Fulani and Tuareg women.[22] The ethic hairstyles influenced girls and women which became a trend mainly from her breakthrough year (2016) in South Africa and other worldwide regions. She also took inspiration from the music group Boom Shaka female vocalists, Thembi Seete and the late Lebo Mathosa, and also singer Thandiswa Mazwai's iconic braids.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Wegerif currently lives in Johannesburg.[24]



  • Limpopo Champions League (2018)


  • "DumiHi Phone" (2017)
  • "Huku" (2018)
  • "Wakanda Forever" (featuring Ycee) (2018)
  • "Don't Tell Me What To Do" (2018)
  • "Kona" (2018)
  • "idohm" (2019)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Prize Work/Recipient Result
2019 South African Music Awards Female Artist Of The Year[25] Limpopo Champions League Won
Best Newcomer Herself Won
Best Music Video "Huku" Nominated
Best Kwaito, Gqom or Amapiano Album Limpopo Champions League Nominated
BET Awards 2019 Best New International Act[26] Herself Won


  1. ^ a b "Sho Madjozi Biography". Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  2. ^ "5 Interesting Facts About Sho Madjozi!". Peoples Magazine.
  3. ^ "Sho Madjozi's musical lineage is larger than large". Mail & Guardian.
  4. ^ Dee, Christa. "Maya the Poet becomes Sho Madjozi: Tsonga rap and the preservation of home". Bubble Gum Club.
  5. ^ Tseliso Monaheng. "Sho Madjozi is manifesting her pan-African dreams". The Fader. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Okmalumkoolkat - Ngiyashisa Bhe! Ft. Sho Madjozi Lyrics & Video". AMDb.
  7. ^ "New Release: Okmalumkoolkat - Gqi". SA Hip Hop Mag.
  8. ^ "SHO MADJOZI GETS TV ROLE!". Daily Sun.
  9. ^ "Dumi HiPhone by Sho Madjozi". Apple Music.
  10. ^ "Probleme (feat. Sho Madjozi & DJ Hu Nose) - DJ Maphorisa Song". BBC.
  11. ^ "Sho Madjozi FINALLY Drops New Single, Huku".
  12. ^ "WATCH THE FULL TRACE Mobile & Sho Madjozi partnership launch". Zkhipani.
  13. ^ Hlalethwa, Zaza (4 December 2018). "Global Citizen: Preaching the good news according to Madiba". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  14. ^ Sabelo Mkabela (14 December 2018). "Listen to Sho Madjozi's Debut Album 'Limpopo Champions League' Featuring Kwesta, pH, Makwa, Ycee and More". Okay Africa. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Sho Madjozi releases Trickshot film for Valentine's Day". Bona Magazine.
  16. ^ "Sho Madjozi makes her mark at #SAMA25". TimesLIVE.
  17. ^ "BET Awards 2019: Sho Madjozi wins big, complete winners list". The South African.
  18. ^ "Sho Madjozi and her unique style sum up everything that's right about SA right now". W24.
  19. ^ "Sho Madjozi on Pitch Black Afro, bringing the Xibelani to the club, and more in First Times video". The FADER.
  20. ^ "Sho Madjozi: Heritage In The Here & Now". IIIRD CITIZEN.
  21. ^ Browning-de Villiers, Sarah (20 March 2019). "#HERitage: Sho Madjozi on Braids". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  22. ^ "Tsonga Rapper Sho Madjozi Is the Radical New Poster Child for Pan-African Pride". Vogue.
  23. ^ "Sho Madjozi on all things hair and braids". W24.
  24. ^ "Meet local fashion and rap sensation Sho Madjozi". W24. 16 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Sho Madjozi makes her mark at #SAMA25". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 26 June 2019.