Moonchild Sanelly
Moonchild Sanelly on the preview of MTV Shuga Down South 2019
Moonchild Sanelly on the preview of MTV Shuga Down South 2019
Background information
Birth nameSanelisiwe Twisha
Born (1987-11-20) 20 November 1987 (age 33)
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • dancer
Years active2006–present
Associated acts

Sanelisiwe Twisha (born 20 November 1987), known professionally as Moonchild Sanelly [1] is a South African musician and dancer. She is known for her signature blue-colored hair and her self-created music genre called "Future ghetto punk".[2] Originally from Port Elizabeth, the singer first came into limelight in the Durban poetry and music scene before relocating to Johannesburg, where she has continued her musical career. Her music has reached audiences beyond South Africa's borders, playing in festivals such as SXSW in Austin, Texas[3] and Primavera Sound in Barcelona.[4] In August 2018, she went on a European tour with South African hip hop group Die Antwoord.[5] Her music fuses elements of experimental electronic, afro-punk and edgy-pop with hints of her strong kwaito, hip hop and jazz background.[6]

Early life and education

Moonchild Sanelly was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She was born into a musical family, with her brother being a hip hop producer, her mother a jazz singer, and her cousins kwaito dancers.[citation needed]

She moved to Durban in 2005 to study fashion at the Linea Fashion Design Academy and stayed there for six years.[7]

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In 2006, Sanelly started performing in shows at Durban University of Technology with a key focus in poetry and hip hop, although she didn't actually call herself a poet for a long time until seeing people react. She featured regularly on a weekend show on Gagasi FM, called Poetry with King Siso.[6] Red Bull discovered her music through an EP she was featured on with DJ Shimza, which was eventually a part of the Soul Candi album.[7] In 2019, Sanelly was featured on Beyonce's The Lion King: The Gift album in the song "My Power" along with Busiswa and Nija. Towards the end of 2019, she dropped her 4 tracks mini album project which she named Nude EP.[8] She made a notable contribution on Our Culture, first track off Zingah's 2020 album.[citation needed]

In 2020, she was also featured on JazziDisciples album, 0303 in the song "Askies"[9] and later in "With Love to an Ex", from Gorillaz' seventh studio album Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez.

Public image

Moonchild Sanelly on stage in 2018.

Moonchild Sanelly is seen as a sex figure and has never been scared to flaunt her body or speak about sex. She gives out sex advice on Valentine's Day through her social media accounts.[10] In an interview with Basha Uhuru, she called herself "the president of female orgasm".[11]

Business ventures

Moonchild Sanelly has her on own clothing label called Moonchild Cultwear.[12] She owns a Naked Club[clarification needed] and has made it clear that it is not a brothel.[13][14]

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Personal life

Sanelly is a mother to three daughters. She was a victim of rape twice in her life, once by her uncle.[15]

Sanelly is Xhosa and uses the Xhosa language in her songs.[16]


  1. ^ "32-year-old Moonchild survives malaria scare". dailysun. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  2. ^ Marunya, Kundai (8 September 2018). "SA act to headline Shoko Festival". The Herald. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  3. ^ Darangwa, Shingai (26 February 2016). "5 hot African artists to look forward to at SXSW in Texas this year". Live SA. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  4. ^ OkayAfrica (8 June 2016). "Soaking in the African Acts at Primavera Sound Festival". Okayafrica. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  5. ^ Mathaba, Nosipho (13 July 2018). "Moonchild heads for Europe". Sowetan Live. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b Ferreira, Jonathan (13 July 2017). "In Studio: Moonchild Sanelly". Red Bull. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b Nkoyana, Ayanda (19 February 2018). "As I long as I can remember. I grew up around music – Moonchild Sanelly". W24 Celebs. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Moonchild Sanelly Nude EP". iminathi. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  9. ^ "Moonchild Sanelly Inspires Body Positivity while Promoting New Single Ft JazziDisciples "Askies"". SA Music Mag. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  10. ^ Zeeman, Kyle (13 February 2018). "Moonchild on stardom, sex and having a stalker". Tshisa Live. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  11. ^ Jason, Stefanie (27 June 2018). "Moonchild Sanelly Q&A – Sex positivity, singing in Xhonglish and Die Antwoord". Basha Uhuru. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  12. ^ Mathebula, Kwanele (9 March 2018). "5 minutes with Moonchild Sanelly". Bona. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  13. ^ Kekana, Chrizelda (15 November 2018). "Moonchild on naked club: It's not a brothel. There's no exchange of money for sex". Tshisa Live. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  14. ^ Khuzwayo, Charles (12 November 2018). "Moonchild Sanelly insists her Naked Club will not be a brothel". IOL. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  15. ^ Mphande, Joy (10 May 2018). "Things you didn't know about Moonchild Sanelly". Zalebs. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  16. ^ Zingithwa, Zola (18 October 2018). "5 minutes with Moonchild Sanelly". Sowetan Live. Sowetan Live. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
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