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Birth nameZonke Dikana
Born (1979-10-11) 11 October 1979 (age 42)
KwaZakhele, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa
OriginJohannesburg, South Africa
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record producer
Years active1997–present

Zonke Dikana (born 11 October 1979), known simply as Zonke, is a South African singer-songwriter and record producer.[1] Her rise to stardom came in 2011 following the release of her third album, Ina Ethe, which was certified double platinum and was nominated at the 18th South African Music Awards.[2][3] In 2013, she recorded and released Give and Take Live, which was certified gold just two months after its release[3] and earned her a place in the Channel O list of "Africa's Top 10 Female Singing Sensations".[4] In September 2015, Zonke released Work of Heart, her fifth album, to critical acclaim with nominations in several categories at the 15th Metro FM Music Awards and 22nd South African Music Awards.[5] She signed a record deal to Sony Music Entertainment in 2013.[6] On 15 June 2018, she released L.O.V.E, her fifth studio album, with Sony.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Zonke was born in KwaZakhele, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Her father, Vuyisile Dikana, was a drummer for a group called Black Slave and the Flamingo while her late stepmother Anneline Malebo was a singer for a musical band known as Joy.[8] She is an alumna of the University of the Free State, from where she graduated with a degree in human resource management in 1997.[9]


1996–2007: early beginnings, Soulitary and Life, Love 'n Music[edit]

During Zonke's early years as a singer, Anneline Malebo introduced her to several artists, including Ringo, Joe Nina and Deborah Fraser, who she worked with either in writing or vocal capabilities. Zonke had her big break when she wrote a song titled "Africa, My Motherland" for the band Jazzkantine, based in Germany.[10] The band later became known as Culture Clan after Zonke and the rappers Mandla and Mzo.[11]

In 2003, Culture Clan released an album titled Africa. It was released in Germany, winning awards from the Channel O and Metro FM Music Awards.[10] During her time in Germany, Zonke's first studio album, Soulitary, was released by Upper Street Records with distribution in Germany, Japan and Italy in 2004. In 2007, Kalawa Jazmee Records released her second album, Life, Love 'n Music.[12]

2008–13: Ina Ethe and Give and Take Live[edit]

In June 2011, Zonke left Kalawa Jamzee for TMP Records and started to record Ina Ethe, her third studio album. Preceding the album's release were two singles, "Jik'Izinto" and "Feelings". Ina Ethe was self-produced and was released by TMP Records to critical reviews.[13] The album did well commercially, going double platinum.[14]

On 25 October 2013, Zonke recorded a live album at the Lyric Theatre in Goldreef City, Johannesburg, released by Sony Music Entertainment as Give and Take Live.[15] The album achieved gold status within two months of its release.[16] Give and Take Live also won two category awards at the 20th South African Music Awards.[17]

2014–2017: Work of Heart[edit]

Following the death of Zonke's older sister Lulu Dikana,[18] Zonke started working on her fourth studio album, Work of Heart, by releasing the singles "Reach It" and "Meet Me in My Dreams".[19] In an interview with Katlego Mkhwanazi of The Mail & Guardian, Zonke said that the album was inspiried by everything that happened to her.[20] The album contains 13 songs and was released on 11 September 2015 by Sony Music Entertainment.[21] Work of Heart was nominated in the Best Female Album and Best African Pop Album categories at the 15th Metro FM Music Awards.[22] It was also nominated in five categories at the 22nd South African Music Awards, winning one.[23] On 14 July 2016, it was certified platinum.[24]

At 2017 South African Afro Music Awards, she was nominated for; Best Afro Female Artist, Best Adult Contemporary, Best Afro Album, Best Afro Producer and won Best Afro-soul Album award.[25]

2018-2019: L.O.V.E[edit]

Her seventh studio album, L.O.V.E, was released on 15 June 15, 2018.[26] It is a 9-track album featuring Kwesta on a song titled "Soul to Keep". In April 2018, Zonke released the lead single "Tonight", which had platinum sales. The album was certified certified gold with sales of 25 000 units.[27]

L.O.V.E. was nominated for Album of the Year, Female Artist of the Year and won Best R&B/Soul Album at the 25th annually ceremony [28][29]

2020-present: tours, Enigma[edit]

Zonke embarked on Zonke: The Evergreen In Concert on February 19 in Cape Town, Grand Arena, GrandWest; the tour included 10 dates that ran through to February 29.[30]

In October 2021, her single "Lady" was released as album's lead single.[31]

On April 22, 2022, she announced that her upcoming album Enigma, has done recording it, scheduled to be release on May 27.[32][33]

In April 26, she teased an art cover of her second single "Oko", via her Facebook.[34] The song was released on April 29, 2022. It debuted number one in South Africa.[35]

Tours and notable performances[edit]

On 5 July 2013, Zonke performed and recorded her live album Give and Take Live at a sold-out concert at the Lyric Theatre in Johannesburg after it was postponed following the death of her sister Busisiwe Dikana.[36] On 20 March 2016, Zonke performed at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg alongside American soul singer Lionel Richie, who was touring South Africa as part of his "All The Hits All Night Long" tour.[37]


Zonke Dikana is a versatile singer who sings in English and Xhosa language. During her time as a Kalawa Jazmee Records artist, her genre of music was mostly house music before she switched to afrosoul and neo soul on signing to TMP Entertainment.[38] Her musical influences include Busi Mhlongo, Miriam Makeba and Brenda Fassie.[39]


Live album[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications Sales
Give and Take Live
  • Released: 25 October 2013
  • Label: TMP Entertainment, Sony Entertainment Africa
  • Format: DVD, digital download
RISA: Gold[40] 70,000 units
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications Sales
Life, Love 'n Music
Ina Ethe
  • Released: 1 October 2011
  • Label: TMP Entertainment
  • Format: CD, digital download, vinyl
RISA: 2× platinum[41] 100,000 units
Work of Heart
  • Released: 11 September 2015
  • Label: TMP Entertainment, Sony Entertainment Africa
  • Format: CD, digital download, vinyl
RISA: Platinum[42]
  • Released: 15 June 2018
  • Label: Sony
  • Format: CD, digital download, vinyl
RISA: Platinum[43]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Television appearance[edit]

In July 2014, Zonke was announced as one of three celebrities to act as judges in the first episode of the X Factor SA which was broadcast on SABC 1 between September and December 2014.[44]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Zonke's contribution to the South African music industry has earned her several awards and nominations in music award events including the South African Music Awards, Metro FM Music Awards, the Channel O Music Video Awards and MTV Africa Music Awards.


  1. ^ "Top 10 Most Powerful female singers in Africa (See if your favorite singers make the list)". How Africa. 17 October 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
    - Meyers, Sherita (26 November 2013). "Zonke releases her first live concert DVD". South African Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Africa's fierce female singing sensations". Channel O. 22 February 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
    - "Zonke Signs Exclusive Deal with Sony Music Entertainment". Rockstar. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b Gqirana, Thulani (14 January 2014). "Zonke's DVD a golden hit". Times Live. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Tiwa Savage & Waje included in Channel O's Africa's Top 10 Female Singing Sensations". Daily Post Music. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Zonke Dikana Profile" (PDF). Power FM. Retrieved 11 June 2016.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Zonke signs with Sony Music!". Soweto Life Magazine.
  7. ^ Ntsinde, Mandisa (15 June 2018). "NEW ALBUM ALERT: Zonke Releases New Offering, L.O.V.E". Zkhiphani.
  8. ^ "ZONKE: Africa's next big star". Capital Lifestyle. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Zonke Dikana Biography". LoudestGist. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.[dead link]
  10. ^ a b "Zonke". TM Performing Arts Management. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Kenya: Zonke Dikana for Tusker Malt Lager 100 Club". Capital FM. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  12. ^ Zbee (9 October 2008). "African Musician: Zonke". Museke. Retrieved 8 June 2016.[dead link]
  13. ^ "Album review: Ina Ethe". Channel O. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
    - Tsumele, Edward (11 December 2011). "Can't take the soul out of her". Sowetan Live. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  14. ^ "ZONKE'S DOUBLE PLATINUM STRIKE/UN OFFER". Showbizone. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  15. ^ Ndlovu, Andile (6 July 2013). "Zonke more than delivers at Give and Take Live DVD recording". Times Live. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  16. ^ Thulani Gqirana (14 January 2014). "Golden start to year". Herald Live. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Mafikizolo biggest winners of SAMAs". Sunday World. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Soul singer Lulu Dikana, sister of Zonke dies, tributes pour in". Times Live. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Listen to Zonke's brand new single and pre-order her album here!". Channel24. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
    - "ZONKE IS A WORK OF ART". Showbizone. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  20. ^ Mkhwanazi, Katlego (16 October 2015). "Q&A: Zonke Dikana talks about songs from the heart". The Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  21. ^ Pantsi, Nandipha (8 October 2015). "Zonke Dikana's new album is all about growth". Times Live. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
    - Mdaka, Yamkela (22 September 2015). "Zonke and her work of heart". Destiny Connect. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
    - "Zonke Announces New Album Release Date, Reveals Art Work". Entertainment Afrique. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  22. ^ George, William (15 January 2016). "2016 Metro FM Music Awards nominees announced". The Citizen. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  23. ^ "SAMAs 2016: Winners List! (SA Music Awards)". MyTVNews. 4 June 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  24. ^ Kekana, Chrizelda (15 July 2016). "Zonke's 'Work of Heart' goes platinum". Independent Online. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  25. ^ Shumba, Ano (24 November 2017). "SA: Vusi Nova wins two SAAFMAs | Music In Africa". Music In Africa.
  26. ^ Kgobotlo, Boitumelo (28 June 2018). "Zonke Dikana: L.O.V.E, path to healing". SowetanLIVE.
  27. ^ "Zonke's L.O.V.E album certified GOLD - ZAlebs". Zalebs. 22 June 2020.
  28. ^ "All the 2019 SAMA nominees". www.bizcommunity.com.
  29. ^ "Zonke, Sho stands out at Sama nominations | CityPress - News24". South Africa: News24. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  30. ^ Siyabonga, Thato. "Zonke begins countdown to Cape Town leg of Zonke: The Evergreen In Concert". Ubetoo. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  31. ^ de Wee, Naledi (22 October 2021). "She never disappoints': Zonke wows Mzansi with new 'Lady' single [listen]". thesouthafrican. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  32. ^ Nkabinde, Tebogo (22 April 2022). "The queen is back! Singer Zonke Dikana's upcoming album is done - Entertainment SA". Entertainment SA. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  33. ^ Dayile, Qhama (19 May 2022). "'I believe in making classics, not hits' – Zonke on taking time between albums | Drum". South Africa Music: Drum. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  34. ^ Mhlanga, Nelly (27 April 2022). "Zonke to release her second single, Oko off her upcoming album". Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  35. ^ "Zonke's Song Is No. 1 On Streaming Platforms A Day After Release". ZAlebs. 30 April 2022. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  36. ^ Ngubane, Sandiso (22 May 2013). "Zonke Dikana's concert is postponed". Sowetan LIVE. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  37. ^ Theletsane, Winnie (22 March 2016). "Lionel Richie seals SA tour with a promise". Eyewitness News. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  38. ^ Tlhoaele, Boitumelo (27 November 2011). "Ready to reveal the real Zonke". Sunday World. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  39. ^ "Zonke Dikana". Power FM. 16 October 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  40. ^ "Zonke's album goes gold". Zalebs. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  41. ^ Ngubane, Sandiso (22 May 2013). "Zonke Dikana's concert is postponed". Sowetan Live. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  42. ^ Makhele, Tshepiso (14 July 2016). "Zonke's album goes platinum". The Citizen. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  43. ^ Matiwane, Nonku (17 October 2019). "ZONKE'S ALBUM GOES PLATINUM". DailySun.
  44. ^ "Zonke, Arno Carstens announced as X Factor SA judges". The Citizen. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
    - "ZONKE DIKANA TALKS X FACTOR". Elle South Africa. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
    - "Oskido is holding thumbs for 2016 'X-Factor'". Tabloid Info. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2016.

External links[edit]