There’s something to be said about the increasing number of South African talent being given the opportunity to tour all around the world. Uncle Waffles, Batuk, Thandiswa Mazwai - the list is endless. And this has been giving South African music an international platform and a seat at the table in international conversations.
Now, Duduzile Ngwenya, more affectionately known by her stage name Lady Du, has just concluded her UK tour with a bang.
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Born in 1991, Ngwenya made her musical breakthrough in 2020 through amapiano, the genre that would take the world by storm in the new decade. With a musical family in her arsenal, such as Runway hitmaker DJ Zan D who is her uncle, and former Metro FM and YFM DJ, DJ Choc, who is her father, Ngwenya got a head start in the industry and was taught to DJ by her father.
By the age of nine, Ngwenya had won her first DJ competition. Once she completed high school, Ngwenya was awarded a bursary to study somatology in London, where she stayed for a few years and returned home in 2012 to pursue her true calling, which was music.
Moving by faith alone, she would go on to release bangers, such as Uzong’Linda and Chase. Her hard work finally paid off as she would finally tour internationally in the UK with memorable performances in Leeds and Northampton. The tour was supported by Bulldog Gin, a US gin company founded by entrepreneur Anshuman Vohra, who had a passion for gin and wanted to create the first modernised gin.
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True to Bulldog Gin’s spirit of supporting artists, they also awarded two of Ngwenya’s fans the chance of a lifetime to join her on tour in the UK. After returning to South Africa, Ngwenya commented on her trip saying:
The journey to Ngwenya’s eventual UK tour came through a competition that was held by Bulldog Gin called Begin Bold, where artists created short films telling audiences more about their impactful journeys and struggles to be boldly and authentically themselves, while trying to break away from societal routines and following their inner voice and inner drive to achieve their dreams. Ngwenya’s film mused how she came about finding her passion for music and the lessons her father gave her that made her who she was.
She said in the film:
“That opportunity was life-changing for me. It kind of activated my vision and reignited my passion. It’s hard to have a vision that you want people to see, so that they know who you really are and how you live, without any façades. I was given the chance to actually tell my story and show who I am, and it actually paid off,” she told us.
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Now that Ngwenya is home, she tells us what we can expect from her as she continues to soar in the music industry. Ngwenya has been songwriting for artists, including Boity Thulo, Mr JazziQ and Ghost hitmaker Kamo Mphela.
“I’ve written for a lot of people, but I started singing amapiano recently because I was a songwriter for the genre. It's all coming together. I also have a few projects on the way, but we’ll keep those a secret for now.
“I’d like to open a music school more than anything. That’s my biggest dream – to be able to teach the business side of music,” she added.
To conclude her world tour, Ngwenya will be giving her South African audiences a few shows on home soil in Johannesburg and Cape Town. One thing is certain, Ngwenya is reaching for the stars.