Sho Madjozi is a 29-year-old South African multi-talented entertainer who is making waves in the industry due to her prowess in rap, songwriting, acting, and poetry. It would interest you to know her real name is Maya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif and her success has been credited to how well she incorporates her culture in her music, fashion, and lifestyle. Her Xibelani dance with the tinguvu (Tsonga traditional skirt) is well appreciated by many. As a matter of fact, many things about Sho Madjozi scream, “Tsonga to the world” but her ancestry goes beyond the shores of Africa.
The 29-year-old Entertainer Is A Multiracial Child
Sho was born to Rosemary Phaweni and Mare Wegerif on 9th May 1992 in Shirley village, Elim, Limpopo, South Africa. Although she identifies herself fully with the Tsonga tribe in the Limpopo region of South Africa, it is gathered that her father, Mare Wegerif is of European descent from Sweden. However, due to Sho Madjozi’s reservations and calculated responses to the media, little is known about when and how exactly her parents got married.
Prior to Sho’s birth though, her father is known to have gone on a tour of many countries in Africa as a charity worker. As of then, he ran a non-governmental organization (NGO) that helped people having issues with claiming their lands. This eventually made him spend a lot of time in Africa and the result is evident as it influenced him a lot.
With regards to the SA star’s mum, she described her as a village beauty who fell in love with a white boy – as she is from the Tsonga tribe in South Africa. More so, she revealed that when her parents got married, Rosemary joined her husband’s NGO to help people in land disputes.
Her Parents’ Divorce Affected Her In Different Ways
As a little girl, Sho Madjozi had to learn to deal with the fact that her parents had to go through a divorce and would be living in different places. Naturally, she was left in the custody of her mother but that notwithstanding, she also spent ample time with her father who, due to his NGO, had to travel a lot. This was an advantage to Sho as it gave her the opportunity to experience different parts of Africa alongside her father and was opportune to even visit Dar es Salaam when it was Tanzania’s capital city while her father worked with a charity organization, Oxfam.
However, one can still notice that the parent who exerted more influence on Sho was her mother. In the normal African setting, one is recognized by her father’s tribe but this is different for Sho as she lives and breathes Tsonga. This can be attributed to being raised by her mother but her father’s acceptance of the culture also contributed.
More so, irrespective of the trauma of having divorced parents, it is pretty obvious that Sho also enjoys a very strong bond with her parents and half-siblings. She occasionally makes mention of them on her social media pages and based on our findings, she has a sister named Zora from her father’s side and about 3 siblings from her mother’s side of which we know the names of 2; Musa Shidzinga her older brother and the youngest Makhanani Maganye who died in a car crash back in December 2019.
Sho Madjozi’s Frequent Travels With Her Father Helped Her Career
Sho was opportune to have a father who traveled a lot and not only did he experience different parts of the world, he would also take his daughter along with him on most of these trips. The exposure was quite good for Sho Madjozi who was able to use the experience throughout her growing years.
The talented artist was eventually educated in different countries. She studied at The International School Of Tanganyika in Tanzania, a neighboring country to South Africa. Later on, she was offered a scholarship to Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where she studied creative writing and African studies before returning to the University of South Africa, Johannesburg, to complete her studies by undertaking a fellowship. More so, in 2016 it’s reported that she spent some time in Senegal and it’s probably because of her father’s work there at the time.
Over the years, Sho was able to start off her career by writing poems using the pseudonym, MayaThePoet. Her poems featured race, identity, and politics. One can only imagine the depth her poems bear due to her experience of different races and cultures, especially different versions of the African race.
She Gained International Acclaim In Her Mid-20s
For someone in her 20s, Sho Madjozi is pretty much very successful. Her career in rap started gathering steam in 2017 with the release of her debut single ‘Dumi HiPhone’ in April of that year and the next year, she released her debut album with the lead song, ‘Huku’, as well as other notable tracks like ‘Wakanda Forever,’ ‘Idhom,’ ‘Kona,’ and ‘Don’t Tell Me What To Do.’ During that year, she and Chris Martin announced the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 and she would later perform at the festival which also featured music icons like Beyonce and Jay-z.
In 2019, fortune smiled on her as she earned two wins at the 35th edition of South African music awards for newcomer of the year and best female album. Her music video, ‘Huku’ was nominated for best music video. Her first album ‘Limpopo Champions League’ was nominated for best Kwaito, Gqom, and Amapiano album. She also received a BET Award for Best New International Act at the BET Awards 2019 and was named by Forbes magazine in Africa 30 under 30 creative category list.
However, her breakthrough came knocking with the release of the song ‘John Cena’ a Gqom-genre song that trended globally with the professional wrestler that the song was named after posting it on his Instagram page. Later that year, she appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show to talk about the song and John Cena surprised her with his presence as she performed the song live. Sho immediately turned into a sensation and leveraging on the moment, she released her first mixtape ‘What a Life’ on 27th November 2020 where she featured a lot of local artists from Limpopo, including music legend Dr. Thomas Chauke to inspire many others out there with big dreams.