Yvonne Chaka Chaka
Yvonne Chaka Chaka, born Yvonne Ntombizodwa Machaka in Soweto, 1965, studied Adult Education and Local Government, further graduating in Speech and Drama at Trinity College in London, 1997. As a young performer, Yvonne was the first black child to have an appearance on South African television in 1981 and, at the tender age of 19, was discovered by Phil Hollis of Dephon Records where her creative capabilities expanded.
A world class performer defined by originality, creativity and showmanship, she debuted her feature film Foreign Demos, playing the lead role of Josephine. She has shared the stage with and performed for leading lights such as President Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth II, Richard Branson, Bono, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey.
In 2004 performing in Gabon, one of her backing singers, Phumzile Ntuli contracted Malaria, sadly passing away. Touched by this tragedy, Yvonne became the Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
An advocate for humanitarian issues affecting women and girls, she is the first African female recipient of the World Economic Forum Crystal Award, chosen as the 100 World Class South African, voted the 8th most powerful musician by Forbes magazine and further voted among the World’s 100 most influential women by Women Deliver.
Her foundation, Princess of Africa (a name she received after a tour in Uganda) champions for change in health and education across Africa, also serving as the first Ambassador for Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Campaign, raising global awareness on HIV/AIDS, and is an Honorary Colonel in the South African Airforce.
Receiving the Crans Montana Forums Gold Medal in Morocco 2017, she was recognised for her role within the UN for Africa on issues affecting women and children and her fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, as well as being honoured with the 2017 Black Entertainment Television (BET) International Global Good Power Award for her humanitarian work.
"Firstly, I must say Thank you to all who have been a part of this project, Neill Solomon, you are no doubt one of the greatest songwriters of all time, to JB Arthur for your incredible producing on the song taking so many elements, voices and concepts, together with Neill, essentially capturing the ethos and spirit of the message of the plight of refugees through the song and Taryn for your patience.
This song disseminates a beautiful message of kindness and where differences must be overlooked and tolerance is to be understood, highlighting this scenario is why this project has happened"