Based: Cape Town

After dazzling the world’s wealthiest on the plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti and a private audience with a sheik of Dubai, Shades of Africa is back on South African soil. This time with even more sparkle, mesmerising costumes and an ever growing repertoire. All their songs represent a colourful South Africa, performed in a kaleidoscope of languages true to their rainbow nation home of South Africa
Shades of Africa has a unique way of bringing new life to the treasure chest of traditional African songs and spilling some African magic into some of the world’s greatest hits. From the deeply emotional version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to the fun filled renditions of African classics like “the click song”, “Nontsokolo” and “Pata Pata” too name but a few. Their original songs include personal stories and tributes to the beauty of South Africa for which they were invited by both SABC 3 and E Tv to perform on set. Shades of Africa has undoubtedly brought new magic, a new coat and a very unique sound to the South African music scene.
They have entertained companies such as Anglo American and Mercedes to South African presidents and politicians, horse racing federations of Singapore and private performances for international Billionaires. They have also performed with both the Stellenbosch- and Bloemfontein city orchestras.

What makes their sound so incredibly unique? The answer would come quickly and honestly. Each one has a very unique story. With Christof’s smokey poetic voice and intriguing tales of daring travels to Hlengiwe’s life as a top Soprano in the glamorous and diamond-filled world of Chicago Opera and Zine’s experience working with the great Andre Rieu in Europe and coming back to Hout Bay to make a difference in children’s lives. Voices take shape as we experience life and the combination of these truly unique voices is enough to give goosebumps to any audience. The respect and love they show for each other on the stage is infectious.
Christof van der Berg grew up on the dusty plains of a Freestate farm. Much of his music has been influenced by his childhood growing up with the Sotho people. He is an award winning pianist and songwriter that has graced theatres across Europe, North America and the far east. At a young age he received a special award for a performance in Hollywood, Los Angeles and was also honoured with the prestigious premier’s award from Me Winkie Dereko. His extensive travelling around the world has contributed to his unique musical approach and rich stage stories.

Zine Gwija is a bubbly and fun filled Xhosa girl from Willowvale in the peaceful Eastern Cape region of South Africa. At a young age Zine was invited by Andre Rieu to perform as a lead vocalist in his very successful tour of the Netherlands. Soon after she won the Cape Town School Jazz festival award and was offered a scholarship at the Waterfront theatre school. She starred in numerous productions around Cape Town theatres and has been hailed for her exceptionally powerful voice and ability to reach the highest notes with grace and ease. Zine was also selected to play a leading role in the London musical “The Lion King”. Zine is the girl with sunshine on her face, the fun loving diva full of laughter!

Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi is a proud Zulu from Kwazulu Natal in South Africa. As an alumni of the prestigious Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, she has performed with the best in the opera world. After finishing her studies at the University of Cape Town she received numerous awards including top awards from SAMRO, ATKV Musicanto, Luminarts Cultural women’s voice, Hans Gabor Belvedere and many more. She starred in leading roles at the the Arts Cape, Baxter and in the great theatres of Chicago and Harare and has performed as a soloist with the Cape philharmonic as well as the Chicago Symphony Orchestras. A true regal lady as befits a descendant of the great Zulu king Shaka.

The old lady is the fourth member of Shades of Africa. The grand piano. She was constructed and sculpted by Christof’s very own hand and joins every party. She is quite literally part of the furniture and comes along for most concerts and gigs.