Shekhinah Is Our WCW
Written by Brooklyn Masuku on 23 August, 2023
Our Women’s Month Women Crush Wednesday Star, and award-winning singer- songwriter, Shekhinah continues to capture the attention of global brands and audiences. She is taking up space, representation, self-care, and she is all for women. 🎀✨
Shekhinah, born Shekhinah Thandi Donnell, is a Pop/R&B vocalist and songwriter born in Durban, South Africa. After singing and performing in musicals for many years throughout her childhood and early teens, the young artist landed her first major gig competing in South Africa’s 7th Season of the hit television show, IDOLS, where she made Top 32. After being eliminated Shekhinah proceeded to enter the competition in its 8th season where she landed in the Top 6 of the overall competition. She went on to complete a Live Performance degree at AFDA in 2017.
In 2017 Shekhinah released her debut Album “Rosegold”, leading with the single “Suited”.
2018 was a wonderful year of growth and success for Shekhinah, with her being nominated for 6 SAMA’s and winning 3 (Album of the Year, Best female artist, Best Newcomer), an MTV EMA nomination for Best African Act and 6 AFRIMA nominations of which she won 2, Best Female Artist in Southern Africa and Songwriter of the year. With the success of her singles “Suited” (certified platunum), “Please Mr” (certified platinum) and “Different” (certified gold), Shekhinah has taken her performance all over Africa and has collaborated with many international companies and artists. Shekhinah has joined international acts on the South African leg of their World Tours, namely John Legend, Toni Braxton and Ed Sheeran. Rosegold is currently certified platinum in SA and Shekhinah is optimistic this will continue to grow with her being one of the most streamed South African artists in 2018 and 2019 and making the list for Forbes Africa’s ”30 under 30” creatives.
In 2019 Shekhinah branched out and created a platform focused on uplifting females in the South African music industry, Rosefest. With 2 festivals in 2012, Johannesburg and Durban, we saw a phenomenal 17 female performers engage with 6000 festival go-ers in a celebration of female talent and comraderie. Shekhinah moved this platform online for 2020 which featured 11 female artists performing in studio for online viewers after an 8-week long campaign which saw Rosefest partnering with LifeLine to hold discussions around issues South African women face. These can be found on YouTube.
In 2020 Shekhinah released “Fixate”, her lead single from her new album “Trouble in Paradise”, followed by “Tides”. Her second studio album is for listening, and indulging.
The star has captured the attention of brands, including the global eyewear brand Sunglass Hut. “This collaboration has been a thing since the beginning of my career, but its ‘Find Every Shade of You’ campaign is the biggest thing I’ve ever done with them. I look forward to more collaborations with the amazing team that made that happen.” Her favourite shades? “My Celines are my fave! They have a funky cat’s-eye shape that I live for, whether on a hike, on stage or being cool at my local Woolies. I’m always wearing them!”
She tells Glamour Magazine that the role of shades in her life depends on the season. “In summer, I need them for daytime performances on stage, and in winter, I’ve been experimenting with using them as an accessory instead of eye care. I love a pair of shades at night – big rule-breaker energy!” Considering Sunglass Hut curates luxury and lifestyle eyewear, this also speaks to her approach to brand alignment. “My art is lifestyle-inspired, ‘Diamonds Do’, from Trouble in Paradise, speaks to young women’s desires to be showered with luxuries, such as diamonds and love.”
Inspired by everyday life, she says our shared experiences, fears and fantasies always make for the best storytelling through song. “When curating a song or body of work, it always has to align with where I am in my life or where I was when I wrote that particular song – it has to be authentic.”
She affirms that as the world continues to shift, music is there to guide emotions or even help contextualise them. “We don’t always have the words, but songs help us find them. Music is therapy, inspirational and entertaining. I think that with the shifts and changes, it’s cool to see platforms such as TikTok encourage and inspire more people to make music or even share it.”
Love it for her!