Simphiwe Dana on overcoming impostor syndrome

08 June 2021 - 08:00 By deepika naidoo
Simphiwe Dana says she will not allow impostor syndrome to win.
Simphiwe Dana says she will not allow impostor syndrome to win.
Image: Instagram/Simphiwe Dana

Singer-songwriter Simphiwe Dana has opened up about impostor syndrome crippling her as a woman and an artist, saying that she has previously felt like she wasn't competent enough to share some of her skills because of it.

Opening up on Twitter, the star got real about working on music as a composer and producer for others' music. Simphiwe said she was afraid of putting herself out there, wondering how this feeling of inadequacy affected women and their success.

“Before I was commissioned by a church to rearrange their songs working with an orchestra and a choir, I was scared of putting myself out there as a composer and arranger, let alone producer for other projects beside mine.

“Now that I did that, I have been wondering how much we have lost out on greatness because either women are scared of being great or society snuffs out their light,” she said.

Simphiwe went on to say that she won't let impostor syndrome, or the internalised belief that you are not as competent as others see you, get the better of her. 

“Anyway, I’m great. I’m amazing actually. I’ll be working on a lot more projects outside my own moving forward, inshallah. This impostor syndrome will not win. Give women these jobs that you believe only men can do. We will amaze you,” she wrote.

Some of Mzansi's biggest names in the entertainment industry have spoken out about having impostor syndrome.

Actress Connie Chiume has been frank about overcoming her insecurities. Chatting about bagging her role in Beyoncé's Black Is King, Connie admitted that impostor syndrome had crept in.

“I was actually numb when I realised what a big deal Black Panther was, but they cast me and I decided: 'you know what, I am not going there like an inferior actress from South Africa.'

“I mean the director saw my audition and cast me, out of thousands of people — not only [from] Africa but [all over] the world. So this wasn't luck, he chose me and I knew: this is my time,” Connie told TshisaLIVE at the time.