Sho Madjozi is a happy woman, things seem to be going her way; from the fear of expecting to be sued by her role model, who declined calls to do so; to meeting the man himself; the man who inspired her gqom single, John Cena.
It was like a dream when she met the WWE wrestler after American singer Kelly Clarkson had invited the rapper to her talk show. Sho was left speechless when John surprised her on the show. The video clip gave many the feel of the wrestler’s other side, his softer side away from the rings, ropes and punches, and won Sho new fans.
Her hit track has been making waves across the globe too. Meanwhile, the last thing that Sho Madjozi thought of was ever meeting John Cena, the man who inspired her gqom single.
Sho (27)'s star has been shining bright and raising, she rubbed her shoulders with, sharing a stage with Beyoncé, posed for pictures with Cardi B and made celebrity fans in rappers Jidenna and Missy Elliott.
However, the most joy of her life is inspiring young African girls. “Of course, it’s nice when people like Missy Elliott or [Coldplay singer] Chris Martin acknowledge your work. But what gives me deep satisfaction is when little girls are like, ‘I want to look like Sho Madjozi’,” she told Move magazine.
The Tsonga hiphop star played John Cena just months ago on the musical stage ‘Colors’ and the video has since grown in lips and bounds in popularity, hitting millions of views.
Should said the song is all about heartbreak. “It’s saying to a guy, ‘You act like you don’t see me, maybe I’m John Cena’. It’s a play on words since it’s John’s tagline’,” she said.
She was excited after John sent her a shout-out on social media, but meeting him was something else a different and unexpected level altogether.
“I think you’re the coolest ever. I would’ve gone by John Cena if you weren’t already John Cena,” Sho said.
“No, you stick with Sho Madjozi because everyone around the world knows Sho Madjozi,” John replied.
Born Maya Wegerif 27 years ago, Sho is very proud of her African identity and heritage.
The Huku rapper is a linguistic with a touch of fluency in isiZulu, Tsonga, Sepedi and English. She also speaks French and Swahili, which she learnt in Tanzania while living with her dad, Marc Wegerif (50). Her parents went separate ways when she was only four, and she was brought up mother, Rosemary Phaweni (51), a municipal employee in the village of Shelly in Elim in Limpopo. “There was a lot of Tsonga pride. It was instilled in me that the most beautiful you can be is when you wear traditional attire,” she said.
When she finished high school, she moved to the United States of America for four years while pursuing pursuing creative writing and African studies on a scholarship. “I try to be globalised,” she said.
A ROLE MODEL
Sho calls on youths to embrace their true identities, heritages, and cultures. The Wakanda Forever hitmaker wishes to see people dreaming big. “My story’s a testament that you can come from any village and still be a superstar,” Sho said as she accepted her BET award for best international act earlier this year.
“For girls who come from where I come from, Limpopo, I want to say: you don’t need to change who you are,” she added.