Lady Du is the breakout amapiano artist you need to know. The 30-year-old Gauteng native has been making waves globally with hits such as Tchukutsha, Soft Life, and Worza featuring fellow new kid on the block, Boohle.
Although her name has only been gaining popularity in the last two years, she’s in fact been making music for decades.
Her face was recently flashing on a billboard in Times Square, and after a long and hard tumultuous career journey, it feels like she is finally receiving her flowers.
Here are 5 things to know about the star:
She comes from a musical family
Lady Du - real name Duduzile Ngwenya - has always been surrounded by music. Her father is veteran R&B artist DJ Choc who influenced her passion for music. Her uncle is DJ Zan D and her brother is @siphosomething, a model, entrepreneur and artist road manager.
She’s been in the industry since the age of 9
Duduzile knew she wanted to pursue music at an early age. With encouragement from her dad and uncle, she learned how to DJ and won her first DJing competition at the age of nine. This set the stage for what was to come.
She previously worked on a cruise ship doing somatology
Later in life, her father wanted her to pursue an education so she traveled to London to study samotology in London after high school. She spent a year traveling to 108 countries as a samotologist and skin therapist before returning to South Africa in 2012.
She nearly quit music before getting her big break
After returning to South Africa, the star found it difficult to break into the music scene. She gained a few opportunities, such as featuring on DJ Siso’s single Chase, and DJ Clock’s, Ama beer, but never really received her big break.
“I was doing music, but I was not quite breaking into the mainstream. I had struggled for more than 20 years. Everyone knew me but I never became the IT girl,” she says.
Bills were piling up and she became increasingly depressed by her situation. Eventually, she landed up in hospital after attempting suicide.
Soon after, she received a call from Tumelo “Mr JassiQ” Manyoni who introduced her to Amapiano music. She made the singles Dabula and Superstar.
“Superstar is me manifesting my life into existence,” she says. “I sang about being a superstar, driving big cars, and living my dream life and that’s exactly what I received within a year."
Last year she released the singles Dakiwe with DBN Gogo, Seekay, and Busta 929 as well as the song Catalia with Junior De Rocka, Mr JazziQ, Sleazy and Mellow. These were the two songs that put her on a Spotify billboard in New York.
She is engaged to be married
Lady Du is engaged to Isibaya actor Andile Mxakaza. The pair have known each other for many years.
She had a close relationship with the late Mpura
The Amapiano singer was very close friends with the late Mpura. She broke the news of his death on social media and Umsebenzi Wethu - a track she collaborated with him on - at his funeral.