Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the singer-songwriter, humanitarian and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador famously known as ‘Princess of Africa’, may be in lockdown in her Johannesburg home, but her days are packed with Zoom meetings and phone calls.
It’s day 28 of the lockdown in South Africa, and just last week, the musician, who likes to be known as a ‘creative activist’, and who is never shy of always lending her voice to a good cause, released a song titled I Dare To Dream as a message of hope for South Africa and the world facing the current pandemic. She recorded it with South African musician Andre Schwartz, while in isolation at home.
This is also the year Chaka Chaka celebrates her 55th birthday and 35 years in the music industry.
“I was supposed to go on a performance tour of Africa to celebrate but things changed,” says the Sowet0-born Chaka Chaka in an online interview with FORBES AFRICA.
To a question on how the arts sector would benefit from the R500 billion ($26.5 billion) stimulus package announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa for South Africa this week, Chaka Chaka commends the president’s timely actions, and also relief funding announced for the sector, adding that a crisis like this has created new avenues of creativity thanks to technology.
In addition to her musical career that has seen her perform for global audiences, including the Queen of England and Oprah Winfrey and sharing the stage with icons such as Bono, Beyoncé and Miriam Makeba, Chaka Chaka has dedicated her time to raising awareness about AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. She is also an advocate of global organizations such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The charity she founded, the Princess of Africa Foundation, has worked towards achieving equitable access to health and progress for women and children, and for the Covid-19 crisis too, she hopes to use her platform to spread community awareness and the message of hope, and also give back.