Dawn’s love of singing began in her grandmother’s church in the South African township of KwaMashu, where Dawn herself grew up.
This love was nurtured by her mother, who would blast records by Aretha Franklin and Donnie Hathaway early in the morning and late at night. At a young age, Dawn also witnessed the power of music to create change, as it formed the soundtrack for the anti-apartheid movement.
Influenced by her upbringing and a deep desire to make a difference, Dawn has dedicated much of her life to inspiring others to rise above their circumstances. She has helped start some of the world’s largest civil society organisations, working with the likes of Nelson Mandela’s 46664.
After relocating to Australia in 2009, she expanded her pursuit of social justice, helping to empower disadvantaged youth and recent immigrants.
Dawn returned to South Africa in 2016 to write and release her first book "Dear God," which tells the story of her daughter’s passing and how Dawn found her way back to life and hope. It has already received great acclaim and Dawn is currently in the midst of a national book tour, with an international tour set to begin soon.
"I don’t know where it comes from; maybe the way I was raised, or it’s just ‘built’ in me, but I have always been a survivor. I believe we all are, even if we don’t see it in ourselves. So when the darkest season fell over my life, I needed my natural survival instincts to ensure that it didn’t swallow me whole.
Losing my first child – my beautiful daughter, Zinhle Grace – just three months after she was born was a battle I didn’t see coming. I felt ambushed, overwhelmed and completely unprepared. My only weapon was the pen and paper with which I wrote letters to God, many of which were excruciatingly honest.
Dear God, is my story of the past four years. It features a selection of the journal entries I kept, as well as my reflections on how I fought to find my way back to life and faith – and ultimately, how I won my victory."
The premature birth and death of her first child in 2013 was something
Dawn never saw coming. Most confronting of all was the realisation that
many other women had similar experiences and yet no one appeared
willing to speak about them.
Despite the increasing connectedness enabled by new technology, the
“village” that once helped previous generations of women to navigate
the realities of love, loss and life no longer seemed to exist.
And so, MYZIZI PRODUCTIONS was conceived. A production company
that seeks to use television and film to challenge and empower women
and men to live their best lives, no matter who they are or what they’ve
As a musician, Dawn has recorded and collaborated with a range of high-profile artists in both South Africa (Loyiso Bala, Zakes Bantwini, Ntokozo Mbambo) and Australia (Evermore, Diafrix). She is regularly asked to perform both acoustic and with a full band at all manner of events – weddings, parties, concerts, and award shows. She has done so in some of the world’s most revered venues such as the Sydney Opera House, and alongside legends like Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
She’s also been called on to share her story as a motivational and keynote speaker at conferences, churches and schools, including Oprah’s Leadership Academy for Girls. It’s in a live setting that Dawn’s true talent shines. She has a unique ability to read, entertain and connect with an audience, whether in an intimate venue with only a handful of people or a concert hall of several thousand.