Festival Street

Sho Madjozi

In four short years, Sho Madjozi has become one of South Africa’s brightest and boldest stars and an accomplished, multi-award–winning artist with a singular voice that is earning her a devoted ― and growing ― audience across the world. Madjozi (real name Maya Wegerif) has done this while remaining the pride of her Limpopo province birthplace and wearing the influences of her cosmopolitan upbringing loudly and proudly. By fusing languages (Tsonga, English, and Swahili), genres (gqom, Afro-pop, and hip hop), and fashion (the traditional xibelani skirt with Air Force Ones), Madjozi pays homage to her Tsonga heritage while embellishing elements of it with a global sensibility. Combining hip-hop hooks with catchy gqom-rooted melodies, Madjozi’s audacious energy and colourful aesthetic has made her a trendsetting household name and a presence that could be felt from the very first reverberating bassline of her debut single, “Dumi Hi Phone” (2018). The year following the release of her debut album Limpopo Champions League (2018), Madjozi won two high-profile South African Music Awards (Best Female and Best Newcomer) and the much-coveted BET Award for Best New International Artist. She also had the honour of being named Glamour Magazine’s SA Woman of the Year. With her South African career flourishing, 2019 saw Madjozi become a global viral sensation when she performed her previously unreleased single “John Cena” (2019) on the Colors platform. Now viewed just under 25-million times, her breakout performance grabbed the attention of rap icon Missy Elliot, pop powerhouse Kelly Clarkson, and Mr. WWE himself, John Cena, which played a significant role in expanding her global fanbase. In 2021, Madjozi’s standing as a leading South African artist was cemented when her mixtape What A Life (2020) ― a celebration of individuality in all its glory ― earned her two more South African Music Awards, this time for Best Female Artist and Best Traditional Artist. This remarkable artist recently penned a historic deal with Epic Records, becoming the first African artist on their roster in America.


Sat Sep 09

Festival Street Music Stage