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DJ Zinhle on building an empire, her relationship with Murdah Bongz and being the face of Finesse

The award-winning DJ, businesswoman and ambassador of the Finesse for her scent, DJ Zinhle is excelling in life and love. Here, she chats to us about her approach to business and navigating life with her partner, Morda.

Dj Zinhle’s work ethic has unlocked doors for her, and she’s finessing in business and life, but that wasn’t always the case, as she admits she wasn’t present to her potential when she was a child. “I grew up not believing I could do anything, so I always wondered what I’d do or where I’d go. Life eventually gave me the answers. I became a DJ not because I wanted to but because life led me in that direction. And I started realising the power of my life and what God has given me.

And when I realised what I could do, I kept pushing and asking myself, what else can I do? That’s what growth is about. I’m excited about the idea that if I do something consistently, life definitely delivers.”

Image: Nina Zimolong

Her unrelenting approach has also captured the attention of The Drip Group, the holding company that brought us the trailblazing local footwear brand, Drip. The charismatic DJ jokingly says she swindled Finesse into their partnership.“I went to see Lekau Sehoana [chairman of The Drip Group and mastermind behind Finesse]. He was working on the brands his and hers perfumes and shared he’d been battling to find faces for the products. Then, he realised he’d found the perfect person for the job: me.

“I immediately said yes! Bongani [MÖrda, her partner, who’s the face of the Finesse Arion fragrance for him] and I,” and that’s how the conversation started. What they were introducing made sense for where I am in my life. It was an easy fix because I enter engagements that resonate with me beyond sales. What the product is about and the story behind the brand needs to align with my values, which Finesse and The Drip Group do.”

As an entrepreneur, DJ Zinhle believes there’s a lot she can still learn from Lekau, such as “how he’s building his business, how much time he’s investing in it, and the risks he’s taking. The benefits are endless for me because even though I’m in this as a face or its ambassador, I’m learning a lot in the process.”

As the face of the Finesse Ruby fragrance for her, where fashion meets culture, she says it was important she believed in it. “It needs to make me feel a certain way, and it does. It’s just serving me! It’s Finesse; it makes me feel I’m on a journey to something bigger, so I need to present myself in that way. I represent the consumer, and my take on it is it’s part of who you are and whoever you want to be.

Whether you’re going out to hustle or assert yourself in certain spaces, it’s a confidence-booster. That’s what perfume has always been.”

Cognizant of the role scent plays in her life as she occupies space, she says to be able to wear perfume and walk into a room, and have people feel your presence is powerful.

Image: Nina Zimolong

Throughout our conversation, I notice DJ Zinhle’s personality is like the ocean; it comes in waves, so you need to stay alert. When you catch it, it’s beautiful – you ride it gently, and it carries you to enchanting places.

We continue chatting about Finesse, her first brand collaboration outside of music with MÖrda. She says it adds a refreshing dynamic to their relationship. “Bongani takes the lead at home, and that’s when I can let my guard down. With work, on the other hand, I’m naturally on top of things.”

She shares she believes in him because he excels in everything he does – and she’s enjoying not having to do all the work on her own. “He’s a professional and kind, so it was easy. He’s dope and one of the greatest artists I’ve ever met.” She says the duo have collaborated before, but she’s excited to see what she and MÖrda and can do together.

“This opportunity with Finesse is amazing because it sets the tone for what’s possible for us as a brand.” Business-minded, she says she’s always wondering what else they can do as a team. “I want to monetise everything. I was telling Santy (Asante, her baby girl) that she has three months until she starts working. We’re working!” She affirms working with her friends and family allows her to spend a lot of time with them. “We work and play together. It’s a family business.”

It’s also heartwarming to see the couple serving Black love goals, and DJ Zinhle admits she finds it fascinating people are so tuned into love. “I don’t understand why people are so invested, but I’m glad our narrative inspires them and they’re able to pull something from it. Bongani and I have conversations where we agree we don’t want to portray something we’re not living. If we’re not really in love or don’t interact that way, then we shouldn’t post it on social media. Whatever we put out there is authentic because that’s how we are with each other. I can’t be smiling on social media when I’m mad at him just because I’m trying to portray a certain image.”

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