WATCH: Dinky Kunene is ‘Connected’ on The Ultimate Kaya 959 Top 30

By: Natasha Archary

Dalene Scwartz aka Dinky Kunene is best known for her Idols SA stints in both season 14 and 15 where she made it into the Top 16 and Top 9 respectively.

The young muso has come a long way since leaving the reality singing content, releasing music with the likes of Josiah De Disciple, Mdu aka TRP and Kings of the Weekend (KOTW).

Joining DJ Keyez on the Ultimate Kaya 959 Top 30, the Hold Onto Me singer shares more about her life, career and why she ran away from home.

WATCH: Dinky Kunene on the Ultimate Kaya 959 Top 30

Who is Dinky Kunene?

Hailing from Ennerdale in the south of Johannesburg, Dinky shared that her musical genes stems from her biological father and mother.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have the opportunity to get to know her dad as he left when Dinky was very still a baby.

“My dad was part of the group Shell Road to Fame with the legendary Rebecca Malope. I never met him but I’ve heard stories about how good he was. One day he went to buy bread and just never came back.”

Dinky Kunene on her absent father

While she can look back and joke about her father’s absence in her life now, the artist struggled with finding her own voice and standing strong in her identity.

Music flows in her family and her mother and older sister are both singers.

Her name, Dalene is derived from her mom’s brother’s names, a combination of Damian and Leon. But she prefers to be known as Dinky Kunene which she says was inspired by her manifesting money into her life when she was in high school.

“I really was just manifesting money into my life with this Kunene surname, back when Kenny Kunene was just the talk of the town. And I said to myself, ‘I’m going to have money like that man one day.’ My childhood nickname was Linky but it just sounded too young and so Dinky was born, Dinky Kunene.”

From Ennerdale to Amapiano

Dinky Kunene had no plans to get into music until she got to varsity and the courses “showed her flames.”

“You know I wasn’t going to be in this position, if it wasn’t for varsity being messed up like it was for me. The first year of studying was hectic, and coming from a very sheltered home, there’s now all this independence so I straight up went hard on the partying.

This girl is falling asleep in Bloemfontein and waking up in Kimberley, that’s how hectic my partying days were. I was filling days with any kind of cultural programme that was musically inclined. My parents said, no this isn’t working, let’s bring her home, so I went to UJ and enrolled in a whole different course, HR. First time, girl is doing great, passing with flying colours and then Idols auditions. Well, you know the rest…”

Since leaving Idols SA, Dalene became Dinky Kunene and jumped onto the amapiano wave in 2017 and has been riding it since.

Running away from home for love has helped the artist evolve and stay true to her heart.

“Immediately after Idols, I was in Mpumalanga meeting in-laws and we came back to Jozi because we wanted to try living together. I lied to my mom telling her that I’m helping my best friend with his move and will be staying with him.

My relationship fizzled out because I don’t think I deserved him at that point. You take on so much responsibility when you decide to move in with someone and it was just too much.”

The artist admits that she cheated on her boyfriend with a girl as she was coming into her own and realised that she is bisexual.

Dinky Kunene refined her artistry, experimenting with her sound and is not one of the rising stars in the genre.

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Also read: Nadia Nakai has ‘Money Calling’ on the Ultimate Kaya 959 Top 30

Written by: Natasha

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