Woman of Wonder

The unstoppable force that is 'Africa's No 1 DJ', Zinhle Jiyane

15 August 2020 - 06:00 By Khanyisile Ngcobo
DJ Zinhle makes hits, produced a reality show focused on empowering women, co-authored a self-help book and launched her own jewellery and furniture lines. File photo.
DJ Zinhle makes hits, produced a reality show focused on empowering women, co-authored a self-help book and launched her own jewellery and furniture lines. File photo.
Image: DJ ZInhle via Instagram

A trailblazer is defined as an innovator, pioneer and trendsetter. If this notion holds true, then the woman dubbed "Africa's number 1 DJ" definitely fits the bill. 

DJ Zinhle, real name Zinhle Jiyane, is one of SA's most celebrated DJs, and has been making waves not only in the music industry but also on television, and as an author and businesswoman.

The My Name Is hitmaker has been in the entertainment industry for more than a decade. During that time she has produced a number of hits, produced a reality show focused on empowering women, co-authored a self-help book and launched her own jewellery and furniture lines. 

WHO IS ZINHLE JIYANE?

DJ Zinhle was born in Dannhauser, KwaZulu-Natal, and rose to prominence during her stint as resident DJ for the dance show Jika Majika.

The marketing graduate is also known for her numerous hits, including My Name Is featuring Busiswa, Colours featuring Tamara Dey and, more recently, Umlilo featuring Mvzzle and Rethabile.

She has been nominated for major awards during the course of her career. 

In 2009, she launched the first and only female DJ academy in the country called FUSE Academy and, a few years later, Era By DJ Zinhle. The latter was a massive success and was  picked up for nationwide distribution by the jeweller American Swiss, a first for a black female-owned business.

The award-winning entertainer followed that with the launch of her furniture store, Jiyane Atelier, with friend Brandon Reynolds in 2019.

Jiyane has been included on the lists of SA's and Africa's most influential and powerful people.

Her long list of achievements include co-writing the bestselling book Meeting Your Power, with Nokubonga Mbanga, producing the show It Takes a Village, and being a judge on SABC 1's 1’s and 2’s talent search show.

In March, Jiyane received the 2020 Forbes Woman Africa Entertainer award.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit SA, she ventured into the face mask business.

WHY JIYANE IS AN INSPIRATION

DJ Zinhle's prolific career and growing empire have made her a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry and across other sectors.

Her continued success as an entertainer, businesswoman and author have made her an inspiration to aspiring female DJs, entrepreneurs and writers.

The continued dominance of Africa's number 1 DJ on local charts has resulted in her being recognised as one of SA's leading female DJs.

Her passion for women empowerment and her many achievements have made an impact on many ordinary South Africans. 

LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT JIYANE

DJ Zinhle suffers from globophobia, the fear of balloons.

"One time at McDonald's, I could smell them and I had a panic attack," Jiyane told Sunday Times Lifestyle a few years ago.

• Sources: DJ Zinhle's website

• Forbes Africa website