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Having first burst onto the scene as an Idols contestant, Shekhinah Thandi Donnell then became a hit maker who brought the spotlight back to the beaches of Durban with boundary-breaking, radio-friendly songs.

The 24-year-old whose pen-game is perfect for the radio tells why she pursued a career in music: “I’m so deeply in love with music and I know that I’m so young but it’s all okay. I know I’m too young to be experiencing so much love and attention but this is it, this is my life. A lot of people wouldn’t condone moving to Joburg straight after high school with no money to try to make this music thing happen but that’s what I did. And now look … what a love!”

Even though the songstress did not win Idols, Shekhinah continues to make waves as an emerging artist locally and internationally. 

She has had much to celebrate this year, with the “Back To The Beach” singer becoming a multi SAMA Award-winning artist, her first single “Suited” going diamond, “Please Mr” going gold and her debut album “Rose Gold” going platinum. 

And it looks as if people are still living for the album with her third single “Different”, featuring former Jamali member Mariechan, selling 10 000 copies.

Her advice to young people is that they should never give up on their dreams. “Not winning an award can be demotivating, especially, when you know you have put in everything. I did not allow that to demotivate me. Instead, it spurred me to work even harder.”