Yvonne Chaka Chaka reflects on 30 Years of South African democracy and her hopes for the future



Published May 28, 2024


This coming June, South African musical icon Yvonne Chaka Chaka will be honoured at the 2024 Legends and Legacy All Africa Music Awards.

IOL Entertainment spoke with the iconic musician who has been in the entertainment industry for 40 years and has seen several shifts within the music industry.

As South Africa celebrates 30 years of democracy, the princess of Africa spoke about her reflections and hopes for the industry.

“30 years of democracy, it's not a child's play. It has been a long walk to this freedom and I always say it's important that we embrace and think about what our forefathers wanted for us.

“Freedom has brought so many changes to our people, but yet there are still young people who can't wear their minis skirts in the street, grandmothers being chastised and raped, two-year-olds being molested and you ask yourself ‘is this the democracy that we were yearning for?’

"I want to say to the leaders and just to our people, let's go back to our drawing board. During Apartheid we looked out for one another, we were there, we protected each other. Why can't we do that now when it's 30 years?”

A lot of things have been done in the last 30 years, but the musician acknowledges that the creative industry is still lagging behind despite all its contributions to South Africa and the world.

“I want to say to the young people who want to be in the creative industry that the playing field has been levelled and I want to urge them to be anything that they want to be, especially young girls.

“I know some have gone to school, you know to study for music and to thrive in the creative industry. Whether you want to be a filmmaker or a sculptor or in animation, it has to be done and we need support from the powers that be.

“From big corporations to the government, all I say is that the people don't want hand outs, people want a hand up. Levelling the playing field for them makes the environment conducive for our young people to spread their wings, just like they're doing now.”

Chaka Chaka emphasised that the industry needs to be supported, as it brings money so that they can pay their taxes and UIFs and have retirement annuities, and not have them dying poor.

IOL Entertainment