Live Mag

5 young South African women we’re excited about right now

by: Tshegofatso Mphahlele - 3 September 2015

Here is our pick of young and exciting women who are changing the game in their respective industries.

The singer: Zoë Modiga


Image: Andiswa Mkosi

Zoë’s voice has enchanted music lovers at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, The Joy of Jazz and the Artscape Youth Jazz Festival. That same voice recently won her a R200 000 scholarship from South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) to complete her music studies. This 21-year-old has the potential to be on the same level as Miriam Makeba and Sibongile Khumalo. But don’t just take our word for it, check out her SoundCloud page to hear for yourself.



The rapper: Gigi LaMayne


Image: Mo

Having twice won the best female category at the South African Hip Hop Awards, Gigi LaMayne is clearly on top of her game. She has also performed at South Africa’s biggest hip hop festival, Back to the City. Her track, “Ice Cream” (the remix features Khuli Chana) is on heavy rotation on radio, and this is hardly surprising because her flow rivals that of celebrated rappers.

The jazz musician: Tribute Birdie Mboweni


Image: supplied by artist


Jazz singer, Tribute “Birdie” Mboweni recently released her debut album Birdie under accomplished indie label Native Rhythms, which has brought us artists like Zuluboy, Siphokazi, Zakwe and The Soil. Birdie has performed around the country and in Dubai. So, if jazz is your thing, look out for this young talented woman.


The alternative musician: Nonku Phiri


Image: Onele Liwani

Vega graduate Nonku Phiri not only sings but she also raps under the alias JungFreud. You have probably seen her performing with popular house music duo, Crazy White Boy. She was previously part of Pangaea, a group she started with rappers Whosane and Jimmy Flexx. She recently performed at Oppikoppi.  Her song, “Things We Do On The Weekend”, is playlisted on  5FM. The song fuses a kwaito beat with some soul influences to create a unique sound.


The writer: Panashe Chigumadzi


Image: Sims Phakishi/TEDxSoweto via Flickr

Ruth First fellow Panashe Chigumadzi started Vanguard Magazine, a black feminist platform for young people. She is also a founding member of The Feminist Stokvel, a collective of eight black women who want to address social issues specific to young black women. Her recent Ruth First Memorial Lecture, on why she appropriates the term “coconut” to dismantle the idea of a colour-blind rainbow nation caused a stir and was featured on The Guardian, among other outlets.

Who else do you think should have made this list? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us @LiveMagSA