Profile: Zani Chiumia SA based Malawian hip-hop artist

If showbiz was a pot of gold then Zani Michelle Chiumia has the Midas touch; born to Malawian parents in Cape Town on 21 November 1988. Zani is the concept that illuminates what entertainment should look, feel and sound like.

Zani has her roots in Malawi where she lived all through her high school years then she returned to South Africa at the age of 18. She is a singer, actress, model, TV presenter, lyricist and recording artist that brings the best of Malawi and hip-hop to the fore.

And let’s not forget the zest and zing that is uniquely Miss Challé which is popularly called. Miss Challé pronounced properly can only be described as a mix of strawberry lips and a whiplash of sexy and that’s exactly what she brings to the entertainment scene.


Zani like most greats has her influences. She has been influenced by Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa and hip-hop, soul, jazz and R&B. The likes of Tiwa Savage, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson are just a few of her influences.

On Zani’s timeline, 2007 was the advent of her entertainment career when she hit a home run with her first gig as the Radio DJ for Malawi’s Star FM. She later went on to Power 101 FM where she produced and co-hosted Drive Time (a Prime time show) in Malawi alongside Tony Friday. She also worked with Tapuwa Bandawe (a leading producer in Malawi) aka Tapps.

In 2010 Zani went on to polish up her natural God given talent by attending Damelin College where she majored in Contemporary Music Vocals. And there she found her music family with fellow music lovers and band called ‘Burning Strings’. Together with her band she performed contemporary music across a broad genre from jazz, to rock, to pop just to mention a few.

Miss Challé has also performed at Katsy’s, an up-class establishment that showcases live bands, in Rosebank, Sandton alongside some of South Africa’s best talents such as; Graeme Curryand Jannie Lategan.

In late 2010 Zani took her love for all things artsy up a notch by going into acting; she scored a lead role in the Africa Magic production A Song for Julie also known as The Betrayal.

In 2011, Zani was part of an all girl group called South West Divas(SWD). Later on that year, Zani went solo and was able to perform alongside talents like Maraza, Teepee, Proverb, Ifani L-Tore, Crax, Psycholution, Black Suga and Driemaanskamp. The highlight of 2011 was when she performed at Back to the City hip-hop festival.

2012 saw Zani taking her leggy and luscious looks to the runway; she focused solely on her modeling career. In 2013 she got the business side of entertainment right by getting herself signed up to Gwenya Entertainment; a South African and Zimbabwean based artist management entity.

In the same year Zani was also featured in the REELE magazine which is a West African based publication that distributes predominantly in Nigeria and Ghana. Zani also played roles in two movies; The Dragons and Bleeding Heart. Zani also starred in the television series; Whiplash which is one of 13 for Mzansi Magic/Africa Magic and an undisclosed channel.

Zani is due to release her debut album titled Nyasaland, With her hit single Gwada.

She is also the 2014 Ambassador representing Malawi at the Theatre Mania Africa.


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