Lebo Mathosa was born in Daveyton in the East Rand. She began singing at the age of seven in the local church choir. The Mathosa family moved to Johannesburg where Mathosa attended the St. Mary’s High School. At the age of fourteen, Mathosa was discovered by music producer, Don Laka who put her in the group Boom Shaka. The group comprised of four other members, Thembi Seete, Theo Nhlengethwa and Junior Sokhela.

Boom Shaka became one of the most successful Kwaito groups of the 90’s. Their first single It’s about time became a hit overnight. The single became an anthem for teenagers and young adults all over the country. The group gained a cult like following and their subsequent albums all did well. Some attributed the groups’ success to Mathosa and Seete’s highly sexualised image and dance moves. The two females were criticised for their scanty clothes and sexy dance moves while others were fascinated by it. The two females can be credited for introducing a whole new style of dance, fashion and hair styles to teenage girls in the mid nineties.

In 1999, despite Boom Shaka’s success, Mathosa went solo. Her first solo album titled Dream, went gold within weeks of its launch. The album earned her the best dance album and the best female vocalist awards at the 2001 South African Music Awards (SAMA). Her next album Drama Queen enjoyed as much success, also earning a SAMA for Best Dance Album. Though she was mainly a singer, Mathosa had also tried her hand at acting and appeared in the local soapie Muvhango.

Between 2004 and 2006, Mathosa reached a pinnacle in what would be her short career and life. She topped the charts in 2004 and also made history when she was nominated in the Best African Act category of the UK’s Music of Black Origin (MOBO) awards. One of her most memorable performances was at Nelson Mandela’s 85th birthday party. On 23 October 2006, Mathosa was travelling with her driver when he lost control of the car, leading to them crashing into a tree. She is said to have died instantly.


France-Presse A. Lebo Mathosa, 29, South African Singer, Dies from The New York Times (25 October 2006) [online] Available at: www.nytimes.com [Accessed on 23 October 2013]|

All Music Lebo Mathosa Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny [online] Available at: www.allmusic.com [Accessed on 25 October 2013] 

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