Simangele Mashazi, also known as Sima, is a singer/sonwriter who was born in Hammersdale, a township between Maritzburg and Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Before she turned four the family moved to Newcastle. At eighteen she left for Stellenbosch, where she still resides. Between 2011 and 2015, she worked as a presenter and news reader at the radio station MFM 92.6. She is the voice of several advertisements produced at MFM. In 2015, Sima enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts course at the University of Stellenbosch, majoring in Language and Culture.
During her youth in KwaZulu-Natal, Sima discovered a love for music. She was part of a musical family and sang from a very young age. This love grew and her ability in song advanced to such an extent that when in Stellenbosch she received private vocal training for several years.
Along with her own live or recorded performances both on and off the stage, there is the vocal work she has done for other artists in the studio or on tour. In 2009, she supplied backing vocals live for Nomfusi and Cofield Mundi and she fulfilled the same role for Nomfusi on a European Tour in 2013, which culminated in an appearance at the Lugano Jazz festival. Also in 2013, she was featured in Koos Kombuis’s album, Dertien, singing a tribute song to Nelson Mandela and she also collaborated with the Dutch duo Nick and Simon in a re-recording of their song “Wat Een Nacht”, as part of the South African segment of their reality TV show aired in the Netherlands.
Simangele Mashazi is a vibrant and talented singer. The pure and rich quality of her voice, and her warm, engaging personality are enchanting. The ease with which she moves between genres and diverse audiences is her signature. She views music as a medium with no boundaries and through her music she tells her stories and those of our shared human experiences. Sima has also been chosen to play the young Mariam Makeba in the musical Mama Africa, which is a joint venture between the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the University of Missouri. This choice is an apt one: her shared heritage and personal influences have prepared her for this role. Her attributes, abiding musical interests, and achievements thus far are a testament to Sima’s talents and readiness to take her place in the South African music industry.