Late popular South African Kwaito singer Lebo Mathosa whose often shocking onstage sexuality earned her the nickname “The New Madonna of the Townships” was born on 16th July, 1977. She was born in Daveyton, a small town just outside Johannesburg to parents Nomvula Magdeline and Madimetsha Gerriet Mathosa. Her family later moved to Johannesburg where she attended St. Mary’s High School.
She started singing in her local church choir at the age of seven. After her family moved to Johannesburg, she discovered bubblegum music, which is a kind of disco-infused pop that was popularized by people like Brenda Fassie whom she considered an idol. At the age of fourteen, Mathosa was discovered by a Johannesburg DJ, and soon after, she joined the group Boom Shaka in 1994.
READ: Brenda Nokuzola Fassie (Late) Biography
Boom Shaka released their first album, About Time, which was an instant hit, but they ran into controversy with their last album when they infused and remixed a version of the South African national anthem, “Nkosi Sikelela”.
She then left Boom Shaka and started her own solo career in 1999 and was very successful. She had her debut solo album Dream and within four weeks of its launch in 2000, the album’s popularity was spreading like wild fire. At the 2001 South African Music Awards, Mathosa won Best Dance Album for Dream, Best Dance Single for her debut single Ntozabantu from the same album, and Best Female Vocalist. Her next album, Drama Queen, released in 2004, again earned the SA Music Award for Best Dance Album.
Mathosa also won the Style Best Dressed Woman of the Year Award in 2001.
Mathosa was one of the few successful female kwaito artists. She topped the South African pop charts in 2004 and in 2006 was nominated for a British MOBO award (Best African Act category). She has performed all over the world, from Southern Africa to Malaysia to Trafalgar Square in London up to the US with the show The Vagina Monologues. Her most significant performances was at Nelson Mandela’s 85th birthday party.
She was well known for her dyed blond hair, live shows and outrageous sexual stage outfits which was frequently compared to the South African singer Brenda Fassie and she was nominated by FHM magazine as one of Africa’s sexiest women.
Mathosa died in a car crash in Johannesburg on 23 October 2006. At the time of her death, she was 29 years old and she had plans to start her own label.