No end to schooling for Yvonne Chaka Chaka

THE PRINCESS of Africa spent this past festive season doing her assignments. Yvonne Chaka Chaka is aiming to finish her PG Dip in Management Practice and she is leaving nothing to chance. The iconic singer, performing artist, humanitarian and businesswoman is this year’s recipient of a Dean’s Scholarship from Henley Business School Africa. “It hasn’t been easy,” she says, “but it is very worthwhile.” Chaka Chaka believes in studying, it was instilled in her by her mother when she and her two sisters, were still children.

The Sowetan, BY PATIENCE BAMBALELE - 27 March 2023

Yvonne Chaka Chaka says receiving three honorary doctorates has inspired her to continue empowering herself with education. 

Chaka Chaka has been honoured by different institutions for the work she has been doing. Currently doing a postgraduate diploma in management practice through Henley Business School – Africa, she argues that there is no time limit to learning and acquiring knowledge. Chaka Chaka received a Dean Scholarship to study for her postgraduate qualification. 

The well-known businesswoman who recently turned 58 has studied different courses in management with Unisa. She told Sowetan that she always believed in acquiring knowledge to improve herself. She said when she applied at Henley Business School, she wanted to expand her horizon since she sits on various boards and runs her own businesses.  

“ I continue studying because I need to understand the language of business and how business is conducted. The course is about business, strategy and leadership. Acquiring knowledge is important to me even if it means I must sit down behind the desk and listen to those who know better than me to impart the knowledge. I have been loving it and studying has taken so much of my time.” 

She further said: “I have three honorary degrees and I fully appreciate them and honour the people who conferred them to me. The honorary degrees are a reason I continue to study...I mean no one will ever take that education away from me.”

To succeed in her mission, Chaka Chaka had to sacrifice a lot including turning down performances and trips because she wanted to attend classes.  

“When you make a decision, you need to stick to it.  Since I got the Dean Scholarship, I did not want to disappoint them. It was either I go to these engagements or I miss classes, which is something that I was not prepared to do. I am not going to lie, these assignments are difficult, and studying is not easy at all. I used to work with another college encouraging people to study and I said to myself you can’t be encouraging people to study when you are not studying.” 

Chaka Chaka plans to pursue a master's in business administration (MBA) when she completes her honours. 

Henley Africa dean and director Professor Jon Foster-Pedley said about Chaka Chaka’s opportunity to study at Henley: “We set out to create a very different business education experience, one that provides the tools for financial independence and growth, which is as critical for the creative industries as it is for traditional commerce and it’s very pleasing to hear Yvonne [Chaka-Chaka] benefiting from precisely this.” 




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