Maya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif, known professionally as Sho Madjozi, is a South African rapper, singer, songwriter, actress and poet well-known for her colourful, loud outfits and she’s probably the best performer in Africa.
Sho Madjozi was born in Shirley 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. After her parents divorced at an early age, she was mainly brought up by her mother. Madjozi has half-sisters from both her mother’s and father’s sides. 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. She also spent some time selling clothes at markets in Senegal during 2016 to provide for family.
After graduating high school at the International School of Tanganyika in Tanzania, Madjozi was offered a scholarship to Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, US, to study creative writing and African studies. While in the US, she started writing poems. 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, and also planned songwriting for other local artists. 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”.
Read Also: KOKOnista Of The Day: Tyra Banks Is One The Most Successful Supermodels Of Her Time And A Pacesetter For Black Girls
On April 2017, Madjozi made her television appearance as one of the casts of Mzansi Magic drama telenovela Isithembiso. She played Tsakane Mboweni – a character passionately involved in student politics – for the inaugural season.
Madjozi released her debut single, “Dumi HiPhone”, featuring disc jockey duo PS DJz. 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, where she was featured on the track “Probleme”.
Limpopo Champions League, Madjozi’s debut studio album, was released in 2019. Madjozi earned two wins at the 25th edition of South African Music Awards for Newcomer of the Year and for Best Female Album. Madjozi received a BET Award for Best New International Act at the BET Awards.
In July 2019, Madjozi was named by the Forbes magazine amongst the 30 under 30 creatives category list for his contribution to the music and entertainment sector. Photo Credit: Getty