Emerging female artists who are thriving in the SA house music scene

Zee Nxumalo. Picture: Mfana ka Maluleke

Zee Nxumalo. Picture: Mfana ka Maluleke

Published Apr 17, 2024


House music has come a long way since its origins at the renowned Chicago Warehouse in the US back in the 1980s.

Over the decades, it has evolved to become one of the most popular and influential genres of electronic dance music that has since spread to clubs and festivals worldwide and now also incorporates other musical elements.

Female artists are now taking the lead when it comes to house music, particularly in South Africa, with artists like Azana, Busiswa, Lady Zamar and Msaki constantly dominating the musical charts.

Several up-and-coming female house musicians are making their mark in the male-dominated industry and are inspiring the youth and other female creatives.

Below are some of the female South African house musicians to keep an eye on.

Zee Nxumalo. Picture: Mfana ka Maluleke

Zee Nxumalo

Zandile Nxumalo, known as Zee Nxumalo, swiftly captivated the music scene with her infectious rhythms and soulful melodies.

The 21-year-old’s hit single “Pholile”, which features Azana and Mlindo The Vocalist, marked her arrival on the scene last year.

She continued her musical domination with stand-out features on hit house music offerings such as “Funk 55”, “Shayimoto” and “Nguwe”.

This year, she solidified her status as a musical force with the release of “Thula Mabota”, which features Pabi Cooper and 031 Choppa.

Nxumalo’s viral song, “FOMO”, with Goldmax, Dlala Thukzin, Funky Qla and Beast is also earning her widespread praise.

She recently told Independent Media Lifestyle that her love for music started as a youngster when she used to sing at family gatherings.

While also in the process of completing her Bachelor of Law degree, Nxumalo is proud of what she has achieved in her career so far.

“Having viral songs is something crazy and amazing and it shows me that my mind is creative,” she said.

“The journey has been a rollercoaster. Today is fun and tomorrow it is challenging. The days are not the same, but more than anything, I wake up every morning appreciative of my talent.”

“There was a time I prayed to be where I am today so I am grateful,” she added.

Nxumalo draws inspiration from fellow South African musician, Young Stunna, and with a new project in the works, she is ready to become a global star.

Mawhoo. Picture: Stills By Tom


Mawhoo, whose real name Thandeka Ngema, embodies the essence of South African music.

Born in Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal, the 29-year-old infuses her sounds with the rhythms and melodies of her heritage.

Like many who came before her, Mawhoo harnessed her musical talent by singing at church and at family gatherings at just 11-years-old.

She then started releasing her music independently in 2021 and also scored massive hits by working with industry-renowned musicians such as Master KG, DJ Maphorisa and Sam Deep.

A year later, the house music musician released her debut EP, “What A Time To Be Alive.”

And despite facing some setbacks in her career, including being rejected by local radio stations, Ngema was determined to share her music with the world.

Her latest EP, “The Sound Of Magic” features messages of resilience, gratitude and reverence for people’s divine gifts.

Liziw. Picture: Supplied


Born and raised in Durban, Nokuphiwa “Lizwi” Mbatha draws inspiration from her Zulu ancestral background as she infuses African acoustics into her sound.

Music has always been a part of her career, taking it to new heights in 2012 when she started attending poetry sessions.

The musician is inspired by a variety of people and situations, and she also credits Mam’Busi Mhlongo as an instrumental figure in her career.

“Music for me is therapeutic, music is love, peace, hope and that is what we need as people,” she was quoted as saying.

“The way I write, I always spread the word of hope. The journey to be where I am today has been long and has required patience and dedication.”

Mbatha has collaborated with some of the most prominent South African and international musical figures, including Kususa, DeMajor, Lemon & Herb and DJ Qness.

In 2022, she won Artist of the Year at the Basadi In Music Awards.

Mbatha is currently touring Europe and her schedule is fully booked for most of the year.

Inspired by DJ Black Coffee’s international success, the musician is determined to work with more women in the industry and she wants to continue spreading joy through her craft.