Sho Madjozi is the accidental rapper from Limpopo, South Africa. Known for rapping in her native Tsonga, as well as in Swahili, she is responsible for fiery tracks such as “Dumi Hi Phone” and “Huku”.
Born Maya Wegegrif, Sho Madjozi was raised in a compound full of matriarchs, by parents with a pan-African taste in music. Both her heritage and upbringing have been crucial in shaping her artistic output. She takes inspiration from the Xitsonga fashion that surrounded her while growing up, as well as her education in African Studies and Creative Writing degree at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.
Though she once had her sights set on working for the African Union, Madjozi’s rap career has skyrocketed, and she has become a key figure in a generation of young, politically vocal South Africans. In her own words, “I represent a lot of people, not even just within Xitsonga culture […] So many people have lived their whole lives having to be split in pieces because at home you’re this, in the village you’re this, but at school you have to be something else entirely and put away your Africanness.”
She has contributed an urgent Xitsonga verse to “Tongue Foo Action” by Durban artist Okmalumkoolkat; featured on Wanlov the Kubolor’s track “No Borders”; and is now working on a film exploring the lineage of the tinguvu, a traditional skirt often worn by Tsonga women while dancing xibelani.
The 26-year old sensation is known for breaking barriers, both at home and abroad. She has performed at New York’s Afropunk and Johannesburg’s Global Citizen Festival, among others.