Thandiswa Mazwai

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Thandiswa Mazwai
Background information
Birth name Thandiswa Mazwai
Born (1976-03-31) 31 March 1976 (age 42)
Mqanduli, Eastern Cape
South Africa
Origin Soweto, Johannesburg
South Africa
  • Kwaito
  • Jazz
  • Afrosoul
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1993 - to date
Labels King Tha Music
Associated acts

Thandiswa Mazwai (born 31 March 1976) is a South African musician, and is also the lead vocalist and songwriter of Bongo Maffin. Thandiswa's first attempt to get noticed occurred at the Shell Road to Fame talent show but Thandiswa did not even make it to the semi-finals round. She did, however, catch the eye of musician and producer Don Laka, who arranged to include her in a project he was working on. And so she began her career in 1998 with Bongo Maffin, one of the pioneering bands of Kwaito. After five albums with Bongo Maffin, she ventured onto a solo career. Her first project, Zabalaza (2004), reached double platinum status and won numerous awards, including a Kora award for Best African Female and four South African Music Awards, including Best Album. It was also nominated for the BBC Radio 3 Planet awards.

Early Life

Thandiswa Mazwai was born on 31 March 1976 in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. She grew up in Soweto (Mofolo, Pimville, Meadowlands), Johannesburg in the Gauteng province. Both her parents, Belede and Thami Mazwai, were journalists and anti-apartheid political activists. She has two sisters; Ntsiki Mazwai and Nomsa. She attended the University of the Witwatersrand where she studied English literature and International Relations.


  1. hdsentertainment, Thandiswa Mazwai, 20 December 2018
  2. Thandiswa, About Me, 20 December 2018
  3. afropolitan, Thandiswa Mazwai, 20 December 2018
  4. iol, Mazwai opens the curtain on her private life, 20 December 2018
  5. sowetanlive, Thandiswa Mazwai: Here to to stay, 20 December 2018
  6. worldmusiccentral, Thandiswa, 27 February 2019