Mzansi Profiles! People Shekhinah Biography| Age, Early Life, Music Career, Awards, Rosefest

Shekhinah Biography| Age, Early Life, Music Career, Awards, Rosefest

Shekhinah Biography| Age, Early Life, Music Career, Awards, Rosefest post thumbnail image

Shekhinah Biography| Age, Early Life, Music Career, Awards, Rosefest

Shekhinah, born Shekhinah Thandi Donnell, is a renowned Pop/R&B vocalist and songwriter hailing from Durban, South Africa. With a career spanning several years, Shekhinah has made a significant impact on the music industry, earning multiple awards and accolades for her exceptional talent and contributions.


Shekhinah was born the 2nd of October, 1994. As of 2023, she is 29 years old.

Early Life

She was born in Durban, South Africa. Shekhinah’s life began with adversity. Her biological parents reportedly abandoned her at birth, but her fortunes changed when she was adopted and embraced by the Donnell family, who provided her with a loving and supportive upbringing.

Her foster dad, Phil Donnell, played a pivotal role in her growth as an individual and as an artist, offering both physical and emotional support throughout her journey.

Despite her adoptive mother residing in the United States, their bond remains strong, with visits bridging the geographical gap.

Also Read: Holly Rey Biography| Real Name, Early Life, Education, Music Career Masked Singer, Battle with Diabetes

Musical Career

Early Beginnings

Shekhinah’s passion for music was evident from a young age. She honed her singing and performance skills by participating in musicals during her childhood and early teens. Her breakthrough came when she entered South Africa’s 7th Season of the popular television show, IDOLS, making it to the Top 32. Undeterred by her initial elimination, Shekhinah returned for the 8th season, achieving a remarkable Top 6 placement. Her dedication to her craft led her to pursue a Live Performance degree at AFDA in 2017.


Shekhinah Biography

Shekhinah music career (Image Credit: Instagram @shekhinahd)

Rise to Prominence

Shekhinah’s talent shone brightly on the national stage, and she graced numerous corporate, government, and public events. In 2016, her singles “Back to the Beach” and “Let You Know” claimed the #1 spot on the music charts, earning her widespread recognition.

Back to the Beach” received nominations at the Metro Music Awards (MMA) and the South African Music Awards (SAMA). Notably, Shekhinah secured victory at the MTV Africa Music Award (MAMA) in October of the same year, all while balancing her academic pursuits.

In 2017, Shekhinah released her debut album, “Rosegold,” featuring the hit single “Suited.” This marked a significant milestone in her career, solidifying her status as a rising star in the music industry.

In 2020, Shekhinah released her lead single, “Fixate,” from her second album.¬†This was followed by the release of “Tides.” Her second studio album, “Trouble In Paradise,” was officially launched in May 2021, cementing her status as a prolific artist

Awards and Recognitions

Despite her relatively short time in the industry, Shekhinah has garnered a multitude of awards and nominations. In 2016, her hit “Back to the Beach” received nominations at the Metro Music Awards and the South African Music Awards. In the same year, she clinched the MTV Africa Music Award for the same song.

The year 2018 was a defining one for Shekhinah, as she received nominations and accolades that affirmed her talent and hard work. Notable achievements include 3 SAMA wins (Album of the Year, Best Female Artist, Best Newcomer), an MTV EMA nomination for Best African Act, and 2 AFRIMA wins (Best Female Artist in Southern Africa and Songwriter of the Year). Her certified platinum singles, “Suited” and “Please Mr,” contributed to her success, as did collaborations with international artists and performances alongside acts like John Legend, Toni Braxton, and Ed Sheeran.


In 2019, Shekhinah expanded her influence by establishing “Rosefest,” a platform dedicated to uplifting female talent in the South African music industry. This initiative showcased 17 female performers across two festivals in Johannesburg and Durban, attracting 6000 festival-goers. In 2020, Shekhinah took Rosefest online, featuring 11 female artists in-studio performances and engaging in discussions on issues faced by South African women.

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