It’s undeniable that Sho Madjozi has won 2019. Not only did her debut album ‘Limpopo Champions League’ bring home the Best Female and Best Newcomer SAMA but her smash hit ‘John Cena’ catapulted her into an international superstar – and people are taking notice. Now, the star is reflecting back on the year that was.
“Of course it’s nice when people like Missy Elliott, Chris Martin or John Cena acknowledge your work,” she says. “That is exciting, but the thing that gives me deep satisfaction is when little girls are like, ‘I want to look like Sho Madjozi’, and not saying they want to look like Barbie.”
Over the past 12 months, Sho Madjozi made a variety of international television appearances and when she was interviewed on The Kelly Clarkson Show, John Cena surprised her when she performed her hit track – making it the first time she met the wrestling champion who inspired the song.
However, while she continues to make waves internationally, Sho Madjozi continues to stay true to her Tsonga heritage. “There was a lot of Tsonga pride. I grew up seeing the women in my family putting on all this traditional attire when they wanted to look the most beautiful,” she says. “It was instilled in me from a young age that the most beautiful you can be is when you have your traditional attire on.”
She adds that being true to herself and loving the culture she was brought up with is something all Africans should strive for. “When you see how Africans in other African countries own their stuff it makes an impact that you never get over,” the singer says. “South Africans are proud to the point of arrogance. We’ve completely lost ourselves but we’re looking down on other people.”
She adds that “I was frustrated by that ignorance. I remember thinking the rest of Africa is going to save us. So much was taken from us that we’ve forgotten what it means to be African. We don’t even know what an African city would look like – we know apartheid cities we were allowed to live in,” she continues. “These cities weren’t built for us; they were built so we could come here and work. That’s why, if you want to dance Xibelani (Tsonga dance) I must leave town. The problem is, our ideas were never judged on whether they were great – if it was African, it was automatically wrong. I try to be globalised. I take the best elements of my culture and combine it with the best of everything else.”
The star certainly had an incredible year and we can’t wait to see what she brings in 2020.
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