12 Things You Might Not Know About DJ Zinhle

DJ Zinhle is best known for being one of the few women in the “boy’s club” (as she calls it) of the deejay world – and for her rocky relationship with hip-hop artist AKA, which has been regular shocking fodder. Here’s 12 things you might not know about the DJ in heels

  1. Her real name is Ntombezinhle.

Given to her by her father, the name means “beautiful girls.”

  1. Her daughter shares a name with Egypt’s capital city.

Zinhle and AKA welcomed their daughter, Kairo Owethu Forbes, to the world in July 2015. As Zinhle explains in her blog: “Kairo is an Arabic name and is a variant of Cairo, meaning “victorious one.” My mother chose her second name, Owethu… a Zulu name meaning “ours.” She is ‘our victorious one’.”

.She suffers from Globophobia, a fear of balloons.

“This one time at McDonald’s, I could smell them and I had a panic attack,” she says.

  1. She’s always had “a thing” for Michael Jackson.

“I fell in love with him in high school. My first CD was one of his and I used to write down his lyrics. I even stole a Michael Jackson book from the library. His birthdays were important to me.

  1. She’s been teased about her broad shoulders.

“I’ve been teased about my broad shoulders my whole life. It hurt when I was growing up. Once someone tweeted: ‘How can Zinhle’s boyfriend sleep with her? It’s like he’s sleeping with another man’.”


  1. She grew up in the backwaters of KwaZulu-Natal.
  2. DJ Zinhle’s 2012 hit, My Name Is, put her on the map, locally and abroad.
  3. People criticised her decision to become a DJ.
  4. She’s passionate about female empowerment.
  5. She sees “DJ Zinhle” as her more confident alter-ego.

“My brother used to say I have Parkinson’s because I’d shake so much at gigs. I tell myself Zinhle must stay here —DJ Zinhle needs to entertain. I’m very conscious of getting out of myself to represent DJ Zinhle the way she would do things.”

  1. She’s posed topless.

Zinhle posed topless in 2013 to promote the range she launched in collaboration with fashion retailer, Legit. It was “two days of being sprayed with oil to look dripping hot,” she says. No, she didn’t mind baring her assets. “I was a little cold, that’s all.”

  1. She isn’t just a DJ, she’s also an online fashion entrepreneur.

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