Delazy, 28, the granddaughter of IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, was accused of disrespecting the Zulu culture by wearing the outfit to his 90th birthday celebration.
The London-based musician, whose real name is Latoya Buthelezi, wanted an outfit that would proudly celebrate her heritage: “I’ve never been comfortable showing my breasts in public. I have not worn traditional outfits for a very long time. So I decided, since my grandad’s turning 90, I’d really put in an effort, so I put together an outfit which I felt best represented me. I know there’s a lot of African girls like me out here, and not everyone shares the same views or the same genders.”
After the footage from the birthday ceremony surfaced, a Twitter user also claimed that her grandfather should have taught her manners: “This guy was a bit of a bully. He just insulted me and my grandfather. I thought that was unacceptable because how can you judge my granddad over me wearing an outfit, and the things he was saying were just unfounded.
“Sexism, racism and homophobia, all this discrimination is a crime. We always shout out at the racists and they trend for weeks and then people that are homophobic or sexist just carry on attacking us and moving on, so I felt I should come forth and say something about it.
“And I was really lucky to find that South Africa is in a space where we’re moving towards an era where we’re not going to accept that sort of behaviour from people.”
Delazy said she struggled with negative criticism and backlash about her identity: “It broke me down and I stayed away from social media. I had a year when I needed therapy because people talk and say things and don’t realise how it can affect a person. It used to affect me a lot but now it’s not about them, its about me building my own confidence and me succeeding. ”
Delazy’s latest single, London Town, has been a hit on the UK charts, sitting at No 3 as of last night.
“I’m really happy about that. I realised that to make it in this city, most people use their talent and that’s how we run the town. So the song’s basically about getting through the city using our talents. All my friends here are involved in random art but in the city, it works for you and it worked for me as a musician.”
The artist says young girls should never stop pushing because times are changing. “I’ve grown up in Africa. My life has changed but it wasn’t easy. There were times when I was alone and times when I could have considered alternative ways to make it happen. Girls need to definitely have something to believe in, something that will push you and keep you together. We’re not living in a place that will give you a chance.”THE INDEPENDENT ON SATURDAY