21 Icons : Yvonne Chaka Chaka : Short Film

21 Icons : Yvonne Chaka Chaka : Short Film


When I grew up I wanted to be white. But today,
I’m happy to be a free black African woman. My father loved Music; I guess I got my voice
from my dad. My mother could not even sing a note. I came from a very poor family, but
I just thought my background will never deter me from wanting to be what I wanted to be. They were looking for young talented children
in Soweto, so I went to the auditions. There was multitudes of young people. We laughed
at this young boy who had a violin, because we thought ooh, it’s very funny, he’s playing
a small guitar. When talking to Yvonne Chaka Chaka, she mentioned
to me that she couldn’t afford a microphone growing up, so she used to walk around the
house singing as a little girl into a broomstick. Yvonne Chaka Chaka now sings for kings and
queens, and it’s a real rags to riches story. I did it because I loved it, I did it because
I thought I’ve got what it takes, and I did it because I thought my voice had given me
a platform to air my views, and to try and change people’s lives. But every time I turn my back, they scandalise
my – When I started singing in 1985, it was very
difficult. Some of my music was not even played on the radio. I composed a song ‘I’m Winning
My Dear Love’, and the song was for Winnie Mandela. So you go to the stadium and you
sing Winnie, Winnie Mandela, but when you recorded the song you said I’m winning, winning,
my dear love. You know as a young child, we knew something
was wrong in our country. We sang songs like ‘Release, Release Mandela’, but it was just
so amazing when we saw Madiba coming out of that prison, walking hand in hand with Winnie
Mandela. I think the whole world just came to a stand still. Makes them party to the rhythm, make them
dance this magic beer. I wanna make you happy, I wanna make you smile. I wanna make you dance,
dance. She’s Mandela’s Princess of Africa, that’s
why the tiara is in the image. The feel of the image, it was just – it was quite a delicate
feel. Even on set, looking at the back of that camera, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and I were
really taken with the results. Be what you want to be. Never let anybody
tell you what you want to be. Always want to better yourself, in anything that you want
to do.

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