Yvonne Chaka Chaka biography, age, husband, awards, education

Yvonne Chaka Chaka (born Yvonne Machaka; 18 March 1965) is an award-winning South African singer, songwriter, and actress. The internationally recognized personality is also a teacher, humanitarian, and entrepreneur.

She became a big name in the music industry but investing her best efforts in music. Reality has a way of rewarding hard work and perseverance and for her, it made her a heavyweight in the industry.

She earned the nickname Princess of Africa after a tour in 1990. The Soweto-born singer has been blessing music lovers in the country and beyond with a taste of good music.

Spending over two decades and seven years in the music scene gained her popularity in several other African countries.

Chaka Chaka is a well-known music personality in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Gabon, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast.

She has dropped many popular hits like I’m Burning Up, Thank You Mr. DJ, and I Cry For Freedom, among others.

Another hit song of hers Umqombothi was featured in the opening scene of the popular movie Hotel Rwanda (2004).

In 1981, as a performer, she was the first black child to appear on television in the country.


Yvonne Chaka Chaka background
Internationally recognized singer, Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
NameYvonne Chaka Chaka
Other namesYvonne Machaka
Born18 March 1965 (age 56 years)
Dobsonville, Soweto
NationalitySouth African
Alma materUniversity of South Africa
Trinity College, London
HusbandDr. Mandlalele (Tiny) Mhinga
ProfessionSinger, songwriter, actress, teacher, humanitarian, entrepreneur.


Most times people say that background of a person influences the choice of a person’s career. Her date of birth is on 18 March 1965 and the place of birth is in Dobsonville, Soweto, South Africa.

Her parents who were happy to have their daughter named her the name Yvonne Machaka. She was born during the apartheid and those times were difficult.

Chaka Chaka’s supposedly happy family was struck with an unfortunate happening. 

Her father died when she was eleven years old. Her mother tried all within her power to cater to the family. Yvonne grew up together with her siblings.

Though, growing up was tough for the songwriter, her mother who was a domestic worker catered for her and her siblings. She earned a salary of 40 rands per month.

According to Yvonne, her mother is her mentor and hero. Her late father was also “a great musician”. 

She further says that she inherited her talent from her parents. No doubt, music is in her blood and her thing, singing comes easy with the renowned singer.


The challenges that life brought her way did not make her give up. She managed to complete her academic pursuit at the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Chaka Chaka holds a degree and diploma, in adult education, and local government, management, and administration.

She also studied for a bachelor’s degree in speech and drama at Trinity College, London. She graduated from the institution in 1997.


Appearing on the show Sugar Shack in 1981 is worth mentioning as it made her the first black child.

She had been active in the choir coupled with her voice, these two characteristics qualified her for recognition by those who hunt for talent.

Eventually, in 1985, when she was nineteen, Phill Hollis of Dephon Records signed her up after discovering her in Johannesburg. Releasing her debut album I’m in love with a DJ, recorded huge success.

Various other albums followed including Motherland, Who is the Bose, Burning up, Sangoma, Thank you Mr. DJ, Power of Africa, Be proud to be African, among others.

The singer has released over 20 albums which houses several hit songs. She has also collaborated with other big names like Miriam Makeba, Annie Lennox, Angelique Kidjo, Bono, and Johnny Clegg.


She received the Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship Award from Roll Back Malaria. The popular singer also smiled home with the Ngomo Award for the grand song prize of Zaire.

She received the best female singer, FNB/SAMA Awards. Yvonne bagged the World Economic Forum Crystal Award, World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Yvonne bagged the Global Good Award at the 2017 BET Awards.


Spending decades in the entertainment industry, she has recorded lots of achievements and success. Yvonne Chaka Chaka is

  • An owner of a music label and production company.
  • A part-time literature teacher at the UNISA.
  • An owner of a limousine company (with her husband).
  • Working with the UN as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and UNICEF.
  • Named by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in SA.
  • 8th-Most-Powerful African (Forbes).
  • Top 100 Most Influential Women in the World.


Yvonne Chaka Chaka is married to Dr. Mandlalele (Tiny) Mhinga. Exchanging their marriage vows in 1989, their marriage is blessed with four sons.

They celebrated 30 years of happy marriage together in 2019. She says that Mandlalele greatly contributed to her youthful look at her age and is her greatest supporter in life.

The couple is proud parents to four sons; Ningi Mhinga, Mfuma Mhinga, Themba Mhinga, and Mandla Mhinga.


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