Zonke Dikana: L.O.V.E, path to healing
Sensational soul singer Zonke Dikana says she's had enough of being sombre and deflated.
She wants to dance, celebrate and feel "light".
Dikana says working on her new album L.O.V.E, which was released earlier this month, helped her to finally make peace with the loss of her parents and two sisters, including Lulu, who was also a singer.
Dikana grew up with three siblings, and after the separation of her parents, her father later had another child - who was the fourth of the siblings.
She explains that she has lost many relatives, including another sister, when they were younger. But the loss of Lulu was by far the worst heartbreak.
"The sadness of losing a sister was dragging me down, this is why I wrote sad songs on my previous album, but this one tells everyone that they should love and be happy.
"It has been over three years [since Lulu passed way] and I cannot be the same person three years later."
L.O.V.E opens with Dikana's hit song Feelings. She says she had to also include the song in her latest album because it "means a lot" to her.
"I hardly ever listen to my own songs because I criticise them too much.
"But this time, I had to include Feelings in the album ... it stands out as my favourite song because it talks about letting go of the baggage."
Dikana also professes that the album, which features rapper Kwesta, is a true reflection of herself. It took three years to complete.
Dikana says she is obsessed with writing - so she started immediately after her last album, Work of Heart.
"I am already putting pen to paper for my next album."
Dikana is not only a soul singer, she also plays a role in fighting against women and children abuse. She passionately says that as women we don't need to personally know [a victim] or even be a victim to fight the evils of abuse - it's a national duty incumbent on all.
"I don't believe that we should relate so as to get involved. We need to have sympathy and empathy. I don't need to think that because I have a daughter I should get involved but rather do it out of the goodness of trying to find happiness," she says.
She is actively involved in the Million Men March - a male movement against women and children abuse. "They are a group of men that show that they are not what they are said to be, they fight abuse and that on its own shows that we [women] have support.
"I always had a feeling that I can do something to improve society, I donated my song SOS (Release Me) to them so they can use it as they want and when they want. That is a song that relates to the challenges they fight against and I hope my bit makes a difference."
Dikana has also been working with Thuthuka Children's Home in Alexandra, Joburg.
The mother of two says: "I donate funds, clothes and furniture [to Thuthuka] ."
Dikana is more than a singer, songwriter and activist, she is also a businesswoman. She founded Leely Music record company, which looks at finding talent in young musicians.