Know why DJ Zinhle is a unique woman?

Know why DJ Zinhle is a unique woman?



DJ Zinhle has a had a tremulous start to the year with Mzansi questioning her relationship with AKA, after the two silently separated before AKA shocked the nation on the airwaves, declaring he’s been single since 2019. But DJ Zinhle has managed to realign her focus and deems 2020 her year.

DJ Zinhle grew up in KwaZulu-Natal’s Dannhauser area. Her full name is Ntombezinhle Jiyane. Zinhle’s father gave her the name and it means “beautiful girls”. Zinhle has a brother named Zak and a sister named Gugu. She is very close to her mother, Jabu Jiyane, and often visits her.

The story behind DJ Zinhle’s journey of becoming a DJ goes something like this. Zinhle originally wanted to be an actress and TV presenter.

“I came to Joburg in 1999 and studied TV presenting and when I went back home, I was very popular because I had met a few celebrities – I think Nimrod (Nkosi) was one of them. I honestly wanted to be a TV presenter because I saw how the YOTV presenters would get free sneakers. I didn’t realise it was so hard,” she told IOL in an interview.

While pursuing her dreams, Zinhle worked as a SAB brand manager. Her brother, who hired out sound equipment, introduced her to the world of deejaying.

In 2004, Zinhle was working the decks at clubs, parties, fashion shows and was even hired for corporate gigs.

Zinhle was one of a few women in the world of deejaying at the time and gained recognition in a male-dominated industry with hard work and sheer determination.

She started FUSE Academy in 2009 to help empower other female DJs. The academy was the first in South Africa to cater only to women. Zinhle announced in 2019 that the FUSE Academy will temporarily close its doors.

Zinhle’s DJing career has taken her all over the world. She has had gigs in London, Miami and Glasgow.

DJ Zinhle was named “Top Female DJ in Africa” in 2018.

Zinhle also received a nomination at the All African Music Awards (AFRIMAs) in 2019 in the “African DJ of the Year” category.

Being a DJ might have made her a star, but Zinhle did not give up on her acting dreams.

She has appeared in Rhythm City and eKasi: Our Stories. Zinhle has also featured on Tropika Island of Treasure 4, Jika Majika, It’s OK We’re Family and Play Your Part.

Her reality show, It Takes a Village, was also well received.

Zinhle, who is the first female DJ to release a house compilation, has several smash songs under her belt, including Colours featuring Tamara Dey.

In 2018, DJ Zinhle released her self-help book, Meeting Your Power.

Her 2019 single, Umlilo ft. Mvzzle, Rethabile, was a number one hit.

The DJ is not about making music only. She has not shied away from sharing pics with her bestie Pearl Thusi. From their getaways, to hanging out together at parties or even visiting at each other homes, the two have really figured out this figured out this friendship thing. However, Zinhle’s recent post to Thusi had many worried about #QueenSono.

DJ Zinhle and Pearl Thusi

DJ Zinhle and Pearl Thusi are friendship goals. The A-list stars became BFFs in 2015. Their mutual disdain toward Bonang Matheba, who was dating AKA, helped solidify their bond. Pearl and Zinhle regularly hangout together and once lived together.

Their daughters have also become good friends. They are regularly spotted wearing matching outfits.

DJ Zinhle recently sent Pearl a public dedication on Twitter and the heartfelt message raised a few eyebrows with many wondering what happened to Pearl.

Zinhle’s appreciation post saw her dedicating her 2019 hit Umlilo, with the caption; “This is for you. Everything will be okay… I love you.” This had many thinking that there is something wrong with Pearl and it is a private matter that needs some urgency.

Fans expressed their concerns on the comments section and sent some words of encouragement.

DJ Zinhle Wins An Africa Forbes Woman Award

After all the ups and downs of the years before 2020, where DJ Zinhle received more backlash than applause, she secured a lucrative award- an Africa Forbes Woman Awards.

The inaugural gala dinner was hosted in Durban, in an association with the globally renowned Forbes Woman Africa Leading Women Summit.

Zinhle bagged the Entertainer award, in a house filled with incredible women who are making great strides in their illustrious careers. She accepted her award with her daughter, Kiaro in tow.

DJ Zinhle and AKA

DJ Zinhle’s most well-known relationship to date is her romance with rapper AKA. The couple started dating in 2012. Zinhle revealed how they met during an interview with MacG on Podcast and Chill. She says she met AKA at a show in Botswana. They were already familiar with one another as Zinhle had slid into AKA’s DMs a few months earlier.

“We met at a show in Botswana. I was DJing…I knew him because I had DM’d him. I checked him out on social media the one time and saw a few songs and I was like ‘aw, this guy is dope and so cute’. I sent him DM saying, ‘yo I’d like to do a song with you?’ And he was like, ‘yo cool. When you have the beat send it to me’. So basically, he still owes me a song,” he said.

Zinhle’s fairy tale romance with AKA ended in 2015 when she revealed on her blog, Moments by DJ Zinhle, that they broke up after she found out he was cheating on her with Bonang Matheba.

DJ Zinhle and AKA
DJ Zinhle and Princess Kairo

DJ Zinhle and AKA have a daughter named Kairo Owethu Forbes. She is named after Egypt’s capital city, Cairo. Kairo was born on July 8, 2015.

“Kairo is an Arabic name and is a variant of Cairo, meaning ‘victorious one’. My mother chose her second name, Owethu… a Zulu name meaning “ours.” She is ‘our victorious one’,” Zinhle wrote on her blog.

Kairo has her own Instagram account with over 600 000 followers and counting.


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The producer and businesswoman recently shared a video of her young daughter on Instagram almost in disbelief at the rate at which she grew up in, with the caption “She was so young.. ?”


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She was so young.. ? @kairo.forbes ❤️❤️

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DJ Zinhle and Brendon Naidoo

After breaking up with AKA in 2015, DJ Zinhle met a handsome businessman named Brendon Naidoo in 2016. The CEO studied Financial Economics at the London School of Economics and Social Science. Brendon is also a philanthropist and has worked with charities in India.

He publicly declared his love for Zinhle in a sweet Instagram post in October 2016. The businessman posted a picture of Zinhle praising her as one of the superwomen in his life. Their romance fizzled out in 2017 after Brendon made headlines for being an alleged conman. He allegedly defrauded retired teachers and business owners out of millions of Rands. Zinhle appeared to stick by her man in the wake of the shocking tabloid reports, but they quietly separated a few months later.

DJ Zinhle and her ex-boyfriend Brendon Naidoo

DJ Zinhle and AKA Back Together

AKA and DJ Zinhle surprised everyone when they got back together in 2018. They kept their relationship a secret for months before their fans put two and two together. Nobody expected the former lover to rekindle love because of how messy things got between them during the Bonang Matheba love triangle drama. AKA took a swipe at Zinhle in a 2016 Twitter rant. He criticised DJ Zinhe’s close relationship with his mother, Lynne Forbes, despite their breakup and accused her of trying to get Bonang’s sponsors to drop her.

But it seems Zinhle is the forgiving type because AKA’s affair and Twitter shade were all water under the bridge. She was pictured hugging AKA at an event in August 2018.

DJ Zinhle’s fans were disappointed that she would take AKA back after everything he has done to her. She tried to play down the hug.

“Just checked my phone after a meeting and I now see that you guys have decided that I have a boyfriend again… Because hugging someone means y’all are dating,” she wrote.

But it turns out hugging someone does mean you are dating – in AKA and Zinhle’s case anyway. They were soon pictured all over town looking very cosy. Fast forward to 2019, and they are no longer hiding their love for each other.

DJ Zinhle and AKA

DJ Zinhle & AKA Break Up

DJ Zinhle had endured constant trolling on social media for getting back together with AKA, who is the father of daughter Kairo. The two seemed to be happy together but by December within the same year, AKA and DJ Zinhle called it quits again.

The two apparently had a fight about Zinhle partying with AKA’s long-time nemesis Cassper Nyovest in Cape Town, and over “interfering” friends and family members, as well as the seven-year age gap that the older Zinhle was supposedly using to “control” him, leaving him feeling trapped.

DJ Zinhle No Make-up

DJ Zinhle loves makeup up as much as the next girl but she is also not afraid to show her bare face. She is often praised for being her authentic self regardless of what people think.

DJ Zinhle Tattoos

DJ Zinhle has several tattoos. She started a sleeve on her arm after breaking up with AKA in 2015.

“The first tattoo that I have is a rose. Actually, both are roses. This big one on my arm, I got it when I was going through the sh***iest time of my life. And when I got this tattoo it was so therapeutic because it was just like pain, but it just made sense. You know when you can make sense of pain? Because I couldn’t make sense of a lot of pain at the time, but when I had the tattoo… you know why you’re hurting…,” she said during a 2016 interview on CliffCentral.


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DJ Zinhle Watches

DJ Zinhle has her own line of watches called Era by DJ Zinhle. The range caters to both men and women. The venture has been very successful since its launch in 2013.

“I wanted to create more than just a product with my name on it, I wanted to create something special, something that will inspire people to be the best they can be, that is why I have been involved in the whole process”, Zinhle said on her website.

Era by DJ Zinhle became more than just a jewellery line when Twitter users decided to use the phrase to make fun of Zinhle’s decision to get back together with AKA. They replaced the word “era” with “error” to joke about the Zinhle-like mistakes they have made.

DJ Zinhle House

DJ Zinhle built her dream home from scratch. The construction took two years and Zinhle had to move in with her friend Pearl Thusi. While construction can be a nightmare for most homeowners, Zinhle enjoyed every step of the process and found a new love – decorating and design. Her daughter Kairo was equally excited about their new home.

“I took Kairo to our new home & she said “WOW”! emotional!” Zinhle wrote on Instagram in August 2017.


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? | Follow: @jiyane_atelier

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DJ Zinhle revealed in May 2019 that she was buying a second house. Unlike her first house, she bought a home that was up for sale. Zinhle hinted about her new purchase on Twitter.

“Have so many ideas and it’s gonna be special this time cause I’ll be using Jiyane Atelier items,” she wrote. Zinhle added a house emoji to her tweet.

Zinhle has been hinting about Jiyane Atelier for months and finally revealed details about her new project in October 2019. Jiyane Atelier is a furniture brand that Zinhle describes as “the home of contemporary and chic design”. The company also makes custom made furniture.

“After months of hard work, research and God, I am proud to announce that @jiyane_atelier launches this Friday…” Zinhle wrote on Instagram on October 3.

The furniture retails from R5 950 to R19 500.

So far, DJ Zinhle is on her way up to the top of success mountain and she continues to prove the masses wrong and that hard work and determination really do, pay off.