Drum English|7 May 2020

She’s got awards and honours for her stellar career but being a mom is Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s biggest success

HER list of titles is about as long as her arm: Princess of Africa, multi-award-winning musician, talented actress and dedicated humanitarian. But before anything else, singer and songwriter Yvonne Chaka Chaka (55) is a wife and proud mom.

Being a mother to her four sons, Ningi (39), Themba (36), Mfumu (30) and Mandla (27), is her most important role, even though they’re no longer her “little boys”.

“They live on their own and it’s just me and Tiny,” Yvonne says.

She is, of course, referring to Dr Mandlalele Mhinga, her 66-year-old husband. The couple have been happily married for over three decades.

“Family is a blessing and we want to add many more years and see our children grow old,” she says.

Her kids are grown men with their own lives but to Yvonne they’ll always be her little boys. She misses the good old days when they were younger and couldn’t do anything without consulting their mom.

“I miss cooking for them and having family dinners. We always used to eat dinner together when they were younger. When they became teenagers, they started going out with friends and partying, they would go out and find their food warm in the oven,” she says.

Now they’re big boys with bills to pay and their own lives to live.

“I kind of enjoy the peace. My husband and I fighting over the remote control, and we have our space to ourselves.”

Tiny prefers watching sports, particularly golf, while Yvonne prefers talk shows and catching up with current affairs.

Before the country went into a national lockdown to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus, the couple spent some time with their children when they celebrated Mfumu’s 30th birthday at trendy Mesh Club in Johannesburg.

“All his friends were there, and I watched him make a beautiful speech,” Yvonne says with pride.

“We haven’t done too badly at raising the boys.”

GROWING up in a home with only girls, Yvonne enjoyed the challenge of raising boys.


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7 May 2020