Yvonne’s personal messages are woven throughout every song she’s written. With musical beats that span afro-traditional to a world sound imbedded into several tracks, the power of the music equals the power of Yvonne’s clear social and spiritual advice to her audience.
Her music awards include the SAMA, KORA, OKTV, Autumn Harvest, and a host of others for musical excellence.
Acknowledgments from an appreciative music industry are reflected in the platinum, gold, and silver hit records proudly hanging in the reception room of her studio: From her debut single I am in love with the DJ, I am Burning Up, I Cry for Freedom, Makoti, Motherland, Be Proud To Be African, Thank You Mr. DJ, Bombani, and Umqombothi (featured in the opening scene of the 2005 movie Hotel Rwanda; the list is endless.
Yvonne has been in the music industry for more than 25 years. She has shared the stage with megastars such as Bono, Angelique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Youssou N’Dour, the classic rock band Queen, and South Africans Johnny Clegg, Miriam Makeba, and Hugh Masekela, to name a few. Yvonne has performed for HRM Queen Elizabeth, US President Bill Clinton, South African President Thabo Mbeki and many other world leaders. As a young performer Yvonne was the first black child to appear on South African television, in 1981.
Since then she has consistently developed her creative capabilities and expanded her media repertoire to include musician, record producer, talk radio and television shows, and acting in several South African television dramas. In 2009 Yvonne went on to shot her debut feature film, FOREIGN DEMOS, in which she plays the Lead role as JOSEPHINE.
Yvonne has met many luminaries in her illustrious career; she says her favourite is mentor and father figure, Nelson Mandela. He called her his “dear daughter.” “Madiba” recounts that it was Yvonne’s music that helped sustain him, and others, while confined as prisoners on Robben Island.
He said, “It is what we make of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another. Yvonne, you are a testament to my belief. You have made all of South Africa proud to claim you as a national icon. You have motivated millions of women and men on our continent. Your generosity has benefited untold numbers of families and orphans facing the challenges of AIDS, terminal illness, abuse, poverty, and illiteracy. I know you will always make your indelible mark wherever you go, and with whatever you do. There is no stopping you! You will always be my Princess of Africa.”
Performing a selection of her unforgettable hits that made her the music icon she is today, audiences will delight in the orchestral interpretations of Motherland, Umquombothi, Natural Woman, Let the children live to name but a few.
Yvonne will be joined on stage by South African X-Factor winners FOUR who have enjoyed a meteoric rise since their win, the soulful Monde Msutwana, Annemarie Steenkamp and Mzansi Youth Choir to ensure a 2-hour musical experience not to be missed.
Says Susan Rendall, Chief Executive Officer of Johannesburg Youth Orchestra; “It is such a privilege to work with a lady such as Yvonne Chaka Chaka who has achieved so much in her musical career, but has not forgotten he roots and where she started. What a role model for our students and an honour for them to be able to learn from her.”
Chaka Chaka responds; “There’s so much we can learn from young blood if only we were to nurture their talents and not calculate wisdom using their age. I am thrilled to be sharing the stage with this young talent, as we celebrate youth month. I have no doubt the orchestra and performers will blow our minds as they perform their interpretation of hits made in the 80’s performed by youngsters born in the 80s and 90s.”
Operating in Soweto, Johannesburg, Evaton and Sebokeng, the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company (JYOC) is a centre of musical excellence in instrumental tuition. Responding to the needs of the youth in all communities, the JYOC is a meeting place for over 600 young people with musical aspirations. Almost 300 of the students are members of one of 10 graded ensembles and orchestras which cater for all levels of competence.
Rendall adds; “The JYO, under the direction of Eddie Clayton, has risen to extraordinary heights and continues to amaze all who hear them.”
A Night with the Stars with Yvonne Chaka Chaka and the JYO is being staged for 2 shows only on Saturday, 27 June at 7:30pm and Sunday, 28 June at 3pm.
Tickets range from R150 – R300 and can be booked online at www.joburgtheatre.com