Joyous star empowers girl children
Nonhlanhla Mdluli burst on the scene as part of Joyous Celebration in the 1990s.
She even found love and marriage in the ensemble to Power FM jock Thabo Mdluli.
While she still works the corporate circuit as a vocalist, these days she is more concerned by the plight of young women that she has thrown herself into the cause wholly.
"Having been in the music industry at 16, it wasn't easy for a young woman in a space dominated by men and it still is, the challenges remain," Mdluli says.
"I resolved to empower young women in general. I believe it's important to start young, so the age group I work with mostly is between 13 and 25 where we instil values and principles for them to stand up for themselves in whatever industry they find themselves."
On August 25 at Premier Hotel in Midrand, she hosts the True Shine Awards through her Every Girl Has A Dream initiative she founded in 2015.
Mdluli says the awards celebrate girls who give selflessly to their communities.
About 10 girls will be honoured at the awards also to be attended by Melanie Bala, Amanda Black, Unathi and Tumelo Mothotoane - who will speak and perform.
Mdluli says the awards are a part of the four flagship events that include the Young Women Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Summit in February that has seen influential businesswomen address young women.
Ironically, Mdluli is a mother to boys. "I'm raising boys but I have this burden about girls. I believe women give birth and when you empower a woman or a girl you are empowering her children or her future children."
Reflecting on her life and career, Mdluli says the pieces of the puzzle make sense now.
"Starting young wasn't easy but looking back I see that everything that happened were for a reason. The hardships I faced as a young girl, [being] raised by a single mother and not having it easy in life was God preparing me.
"It now all makes sense to me. The things I couldn't understand was God knitting everything together for this purpose in my heart."