Yolanda Y'awa
Gig Seeker Pro

Yolanda Y'awa

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa | SELF

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa | SELF
Band World Singer/Songwriter





Her shaking rhythm had me tapping my feet to the beat. I love the way she moves. Such energy and poise with just a hint of madness.

Yolanda Yawa exudes glamour in the most glorious way. Her style lies somewhere between Gwen Stefani and John Galliano. Bright colours and an eclectic mix of fabrics were draped over her figure making her look like the mad hatter at a township tea party. Even her band members were decked out in Afro chic style. But style and bodily rhythm aren’t the only thing Yawa has to offer.

Her voice is uniquely African, a perfect symbol of her hometown of Gugulethu. The spirit of township living, of hardship, struggles and fierce pride, flows through her music. I was taken back to King William’s Town in the 1960s – a time when music was used as a form of resistance. Although some of her songs were devoid of such social commentary she still reminds us of what it means to be proudly South African.

Hers is the music of a post-apartheid South Africa. She stands for the generation who is allowed to be loud and outspoken. The lively textures and neurotic design of her clothing compliment her exuberant presence. An absolute feast for the eyes, Yolanda Yawa provides all that we crave in a performer. She is daring and dramatic and she lights up the stage with a contagious township tempo. - By Mustapha Hendricks @woict_highlife

"Reviews and News about Events posted on eventslist.co.za Friday, April 8, 2011 Yolanda Y'awa 'CrossOva'"

Yolanda Y'awa first solo cd album launch 'Crossova' was a huge success. Held at the piazza at the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Centre it was the perfect setting for a stunning concert. We were treated at Voila to Peroni drinks and snacks from Cafe Cru. Luckily for us the restaurants that surround the piazza had front row seats.

The concert started with township dancers doing a gig and three gorgeous muses dressed to the nines. This set the scene for an energetic and modern / eclectic performance . The outfits were amazing and gorgeous. So much thought was put into the design that it was a fashion show in itself. The colourful, exciting, vibrant fabrics brought out the personalities of the performers. There is obviously design talent. Yolanda then appeared on the stage in an outfit with a pussy cat bow in a mix of green and red, with striped legging and red shoes. She is enigmatic and talented with a larger than life personality.

The Gugulethu tenors accompanied her with sounds of joy and a song of happiness. They way these guys can sing is so beautiful. Their operatic voices filled the piazza that if your closed your eyes your could be in Rome.

So they say; when in Rome, or in this case Africa, do as the African's do. Yolanda got the crowds on their feet doing a type of 'diski' dance. I'm not sure what it is called but it makes everyone from mama to child to move one's body.

Yolanda 's songs are inspired by heart-felt lyrics. She has gone through her trials and tribulations but remains a pillar of strength, inspired to excel as a creative and is a light for her loves and joys. Her songs 'Be Free', 'Forgiveness', 'Rejoice' reveal a message of hope.

Her album has a distinct African feel, with memories of Brenda Fassie, a big personality and beautiful strong voice. She is not shy to say that she is a child of Africa and for that I applaud her. She is accompanied by a band that is equally talented and plays a range of sounds to bring out the best in this creative performer.

The evening couldn't get better, having won the raffle for a custom-made shirt from Vogel & Aitken - extraordinary shirts for extraordinary men. We were also given a goodie bag to take home with Wild Olive soap and a signed copy of her album which I played in the CD player of my car on the way home.

Leaving with song words from the song 'Brand New Day'

Every time I wake up to a bright new day
I put on my make up
Baby ain't I lovely...
I open up my window to a brand new day
With lots of possibilities
In each and every way...
- Posted by heathers


Artist:Yolanda Y'awa, Album: CrossOva,Year: 2010
Artist:Yolanda Y'awa, Current EP: Rising Starr,Shikanda Starr,Year: 2013(to be released in 2013)

(On lead and backing vocals)



Yolanda Y'awa is a renowned Singer, Motivational Speaker and Fashion Designer who hails from the dusty streets of Gugulethu, a township in Cape Town, South Africa.

Former face and lead singer of the Afro-classical fusion band, Coda, Y'awa has been performing since she was 7 years old and her validation of her journey as a star came when she won her first talent competition belting out the sounds of 'Too Late for Mama', one of the late Brenda Fassie's hit songs. "My upbringing was not always a 'bed of roses', so I mostly relied on passion and inspiration to see me through life. A good dose of music and diverse cultural experiences in the township where I grew up, was a constant reminder that I had a voice to share with the world!", says Y'awa.

Her limitless hunger to explore her art passionately has allowed her to be invited as a special guest performer together with her then band-Coda to Arch Bishop Tutu's 75th birthday, following the success of her managing to get the Presidency and Heads of state, including Arch Bishop Tutu, down on their knees, all in the spirit of Ubuntu. She has also enjoyed the opportunity to sing the South African and Australian national anthems, alongside Justin Burgh for the international rugby match between SA and Australia in 2006.

Y'awa ,who believes that a positive mind can help one achieve the impossible, has also been invited as a motivational speaker for hundreds of people around the country. Some of her career highlights include showcasing her fashion on Top Billing TV show and the Expresso Show on SABC 3.

Her previous national/international performances and collaborations include Women Unite Marimba Band(SA), Drums Across(Norway), Tucan Tucan Afro-Latin Jazz Band(SA) and Coda Afro-classical fusion band.

Her creative and versatile talents Y'awa has won a number of prizes and awards in her name including being invited to sing the SA and Australian national anthems next to Justin Burgh at the rugby match between SA and Australia June 16 2006. As a solo artist, she has seen the stages in Thailand and has also appeared on local and international documentaries. She also attended South By South West(SXSW'12) in Austin Texas Texas, to create an alliance of networks and contacts that will in turn invest in South African sought after and up and coming artists. In September'11, Y'awa received invitation to perform at Popkomm Music Exhibition in Berlin.

As an acclaimed singer, she continues to be invited to represent young talent in South Africa in prestigious projects and events like: Shoprite/Checkers Women of the Year awards, 1000 Women's Luncheon, Amy Biehl Foundation, SA Ubuntu Business Network, Common Purpose Meridian Programme, Grand West Casino Women's day Celebration.

From 2013 apart from releasing CD singles from her upcoming 2nd album, she will also be working closely with the youth on her youth scholarship programme and other charity organisations as a mentor, motivational speaker and facilitator with the focus on empowering men and also on prevention against women and child abuse.

With formal training in Ballet and African Contemporary Dance, she adds an exciting element to performances with her exceptional dance skills. She has performed as a guest dancer and also has shared a stage with Jimmy Dludlu at the Ubuntu Festival in July 2009.

A finalist in the Miss Cape Town Competition in 1996, Y'awa is a charismatic performer who keeps audiences entranced by her breath-taking voice, captivating image and cutting edge dance skills. Her near future engagements include but not least, South African and Europe Tour; performances and facilitating African dance workshops in Utrecht-Holland from May 2013.

Band Members