Durbanite Shekhinah Donnell charms music lovers by storm

Jonathan Mbiriyamveka

Harare – Former South African Idols finalist Shekhinah Donnell (23) has proved her mettle in the cutthroat music industry where she has literally charmed music lovers not only in the region but across the globe with her soothing and unmistakable voice.   

The delectable vocalist, singer-songwriter was born on October 2, 1994, and is better known by her stage name, Shekhinah.

Shekhinah was among the Top 32 of MNET’s SA Idols Season 7 in 2011 and also finished in the Top 6 of MNET’s SA Idols Season 8 in 2012.

As a singer-songwriter Shekhinah has outdone herself through her uninhibited voice, which she effortlessly uses to make great songs as well as creating a vibe around herself.

Shekhinah announced her arrival on the mainstream music scene with “Let You Know” featuring Sketchy Bongo and “Back to the Beach” alongside Kyle Deutsch. Both chart-topping singles were released in 2015.

She dropped her debut album on October 6, 2017, under Sony Music Entertainment Africa in digital download format.

Shekhinah has also done several associated features with DJ Slique and Black Coffee, one of the sought after deep house music producers and DJs.

She is currently tearing up the airwaves with “Suited” whose music video is simply out of the ordinary.

The video revolves around love and relationship and Shekhinah appears among other vixens while she is all loved up with her man.

The video is topping on most satellite television stations such as Trace Africa, Trace Urban, Channel O and MTV Base.

For Shekhinah, much of what she does in music reflects on her upbringing as she was shown love which is the best gift of all.

Raised in Pietermaritzburg, Shekhinah who now lives in Glenwood, Durban, was born in Edendale Hospital and adopted by Phillip Donnell when she was just a month old.

For six years she called Maritzburg home, attended St Nicholas School, and still regularly visited her grandparents, Jack and Myrtle, and her uncle John, who live in the city.

Her father, Donnell, was elated to see his daughter taking part in the SA Idols and was rooting for her success in the singing competition, which is based on popularity votes.

“At the end of the day, you can be the best singer in the world, but if you don’t get votes you won’t be able to stay in the competition,” Donnell told the Press at the time.

But since you cannot expect honey from a fly, Donnell not only invested his time in Shekhinah but also his money to ensure that she did well in the SA Idols.

Shekhinah would go for vocal training once a week and even if she did not win Idols, singing and performing was what she really wanted to get into.

And it is easy to see why music is a part of her because she loves to sing from the heart.

As a matric student, she pulled all the stops to pursue her education while at the same time staying in the competition.

November 2017
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