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The Yvonne Chaka Chaka Portrait



Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Artist: Taf [Tafadzwa Mukwashi]
Oil on canvas
762mm x 610mm

Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the Princess of Africa, is the woman in the 8th portrait of Facing a Century by the artist Taf [Tafadzwa Mukwashi].

This adored African icon is an internationally renowned singer who sang her way into becoming an anti-Apartheid activist (her hit song, ‘Motherland’ in the late 1980s questioned why blacks in South Africa were seen as and called strangers in their own motherland), a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, a philanthropist and founder of the Princess of Africa Foundation, an entrepreneur and a proudly African mother.

Her moment was captured in oils on a 762mm x 610mm canvas. The impasto, heavily textured painting is true Pop Art in theme and incorporated the element, Earth to depict this phenomenal woman’s deep love for and link to her Home, Africa.

Yvonne is now an advocate for the health and rights of women and children in Africa, and her documentary ‘The Motherland Tour: A Journey of African Women’, which premiered all over the world in 2010, raises an awareness of how women are addressing their most pressing daily issues, including malaria, maternal and child health, HIV, women’s empowerment, education, and poverty. The documentary is based around several profiles of extraordinary women and girls, many who have met adversity with action.

Yvonne’s numerous accomplishments can be attributed to an indomitable will and a childhood guided by the strength of her mother, Sophie Machaka. A domestic worker with only a Standard 6 education, Yvonne’s mother was Yvonne’s first mentor who gave her the gift of character. Honesty, generosity, gratitude, faith, responsibility, and moral integrity are all virtues Yvonne’s mother taught her.

Yvonne recalls, “My mother was always there for me. She was a young widow who raised three daughters single-handedly on a domestic workers salary. That took great courage and strength. When I was born in 1965 in Soweto, it was during apartheid, and those were extremely difficult times. When I was little I would strum an empty tin and blow into a broomstick pretending it was a microphone. I sang in church choirs. I loved singing.”

Yvonne’s latest album 18/28 is filled with ‘musical beats that spans afro-traditional to a world sound imbedded into several tracks, the power of the music equals the power of Yvonne’s clear social and spiritual advice to her audience.’

Taf and a great many others around the world, continue to love Yvonne, her voice, her songs, her immense courage. It is a privilege and an honour to have been able to give Yvonne Chaka Chaka a moment in Facing a Century.
[Once again, many thanks to Rina Broomberg!]

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