If Makhadzi is not trending on social media for her big moves, the 25-year-old is putting in hard work in the studio and making music that resonates with her fans.
The proof is in the success of her last album, Khokhova, which is still on the charts and also branded as the most streamed female artist on Apple Music for 2021.
That success didn’t stop her from releasing her new project, African Queen, adding that her music has crossed borders, and therefore, speaks to who she is in music, an African queen.
According to the singer, her songs have received love from places such as Botswana, Namibia, Nigeria and Tanzania, regardless of the language barriers that her tshiVenda music might pose.
“This shows that I am a true African queen because I managed to bring everyone together through music, something that has been done by other great giants around the continent. I am just picking up that baton and making music that resonates with everyone,” she said.
Before enjoying this commercial success, Makhadzi, real name Ndivhudzannyi Ralivhona, released seven traditional albums, with her first release coming at the tender age of 15.
“I never thought today I would be Makhadzi, the way I am today. Not to say I didn’t believe in myself in the first place, but I started doing music purely because of love and nothing else. I didn’t mind going to perform in front of shops, with the sun blazing hot, to get the little money – but without knowing that, one day, I would be where I am today,” she said.
The energetic muso started her career in entertainment as a dancer for a traditional group that predominantly performed at weddings and other traditional events.
“When I hustled by myself, no one believed in my talent then. I bought myself a small speaker and went in front of shops to sing. At that time, I didn’t think about money, regardless of the fact that I was from a poor background. I just wanted to sing, doing what I loved. I used to approach big festivals, hitch-hike my way there just so I could sing. That is how much I love doing what I do,” she said.
Her 19-track album, that doesn’t ascribe to any genre, features chart-topping artists such as Cassper Nyovest, Lady Du, Kabza de Small, Mlindo the Vocalist, Mr Brown and Prince Benza, among others.
“That is why I have been able to feature such an array of artists on this album because I do not ascribe to any genre. Having to work with these people has been humbling and also showed that my talent is being noticed. Even though I am the Makhadzi that I am today, I am honoured to be working with such artists, and I respect the time they have afforded me,” she said.
She counts her being able to buy her mother, father, her grandmother and herself, houses as her biggest achievement to date, citing that being able to take care of her family has been her greatest joy.
“My parents didn’t think that this career path would bring in so much money. I made the decision to buy them houses and was not forced by anyone because of all the love and support they have given me.”
“The album, in general, just speaks about life. My favourite song, in particular, is Zwivhuya, which speaks about blessings. That we are heading towards the end of the year, and we are still kept. It is also a prayer that in the coming year, we succeed and are blessed with all good things,” she said, adding also that she always wants to make music that brings good vibes to people.
“I am very excited about this album. It trended even before it dropped, and that meant it was already competing with my previous album. I am very blessed to be able to do what I love, in a language that I understand the most – meaning I am able to pour out to people authentically, and that is an amazing feeling,” she said.