Moonchild Sanelly

Moonchild Sanelly
Moonchild Sanelly sings on preview of MTV Down South 2019.png
Moonchild Sanelly on the preview of MTV Shuga Down South 2019
Background information
Birth nameSanelisiwe Twisha
Born (1987-11-20) 20 November 1987 (age 34)
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • dancer
Years active2006–present

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]

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.[6]

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


In 2006, Sanelly started performing in shows at Durban University of Technology with a key focus in poetry and hip hop, although she did not actually call herself a poet for a long time until she noticed people's reactions. She featured regularly on a weekend show on Gagasi FM, called Poetry with King Siso.[8] In mid 2020, she signed a record deal with Transgressive Records.[9] In March 2015, she released her studio album Rabulapha! with Transgressive Records.[10] Rabulapha! earned her a nomination at the 22nd Annual South African Music Awards for Best Alternative Album. 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 Beyoncé'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 titled Nude EP.[11] She made a notable contribution on Our Culture, first track off Zingah's 2020 album.[12]

In 2020, she was also featured on JazziDisciples album, 0303 in the song "Askies"[13] and later in "With Love to an Ex", from Gorillaz' seventh studio album Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez.[14][15]

On June 29, 2021, her single "Yebo Teacher" was released.[16] She will host upcoming show Madness Method airs on BET.[17]

She made an announcement on twitter of her feature on FIFA 2022 soundtrack.[18] In October 1, she announced her single "Demon" with Sadnightdynamite.[19] The song was released on October 4, 2021, with accompanying music video.[20]

In February 2022, Sanelly began her career in adult entertainment.[21]

In late March 2022, she announced her second studio album Phases, which is scheduled to be released on June 10.[22]

In May 2022, her single "Cute" featuring British rapper Trillary Banks was released.[23]


Her music fuses elements of experimental electronic, afro-punk and edgy-pop with hints of her strong kwaito, hip hop and jazz background.[8]

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.[24] In an interview with Basha Uhuru, she called herself "the president of female orgasm".[25]

Business ventures

Moonchild Sanelly has her on own clothing label called Moonchild Cultwear.[26] She owns a Naked Club[clarification needed] and has made it clear that it is not a brothel.[27][28]

Personal life

Sanelly is a mother to three daughters. She was a victim of rape twice in her life, with one having been committed by her uncle.[29]

Sanelly is Xhosa and uses Xhosa language in most of her songs.


Studio albums

  • Rabulapha! (2015)
  • Phases (2022)


  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. ^ Staff Reporter (14 December 2014). "Singer Moonchild Sanelly reaches for the stars". Mail & Guardian.
  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. ^ a b Ferreira, Jonathan (13 July 2017). "In Studio: Moonchild Sanelly". Red Bull. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  9. ^ Ntsinde, Mandisa. "Moonchild Sanelly Signs To Transgressive Records, Releases "Bashiri"". Zkhiphani.
  10. ^ "Rabulapha! Moonchild Sanelly". Apple Music. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Moonchild Sanelly Nude EP". iminathi. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  12. ^ Jabulani, John (2 May 2020). "Zingah features Moonchild Sanelly In "Our Culture"". Ubetoo. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  13. ^ "Moonchild Sanelly Inspires Body Positivity while Promoting New Single Ft JazziDisciples "Askies"". SA Music Mag. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  14. ^ Jabulani, John (26 October 2020). "Gorillaz enlists Moonchild for "With Love To An Ex"". Ubetoo. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  15. ^ "Moonchild Sanelly Features On Gorillaz's 'With Love To An Ex' | Hype Magazine". Hype Magazine. 26 October 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Moonchild Sanelly releases new single, Yebo Teacher | JustNje". JustNje. 30 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Moonchild Sanelly to host new show". Sowetan LIVE. 28 July 2021.
  18. ^ Adejoy (21 September 2021). "Moonchild Sanelly is featured on the FIFA 2022 soundtrack | Fakaza News". South Africa: Fakaza News.
  19. ^ Bukola (1 October 2021). "Moonchild to drop new single, 'Demon' | Fakaza News". South Africa: Fakaza News.
  20. ^ Shumba, Ano (6 October 2021). "Watch Moonchild Sanelly and Sad Night Dynamite's Demon video | Music In Africa". Music In Africa. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  21. ^ "Moonchild Is Officially Entering Adult Entertainment - ZAlebs". ZAlebs. 22 February 2022. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  22. ^ ""Moonchild Sanelly Announces New Album 'Phases' Out June 10 / New Single "Strip Club" Out Now - SA Music Magazine". SA Music Magazine. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  23. ^ Shumba, Ano (11 May 2022). "SA: Moonchild Sanelly features British rapper Trillary Banks in new single | Music In Africa". Music In Africa. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  24. ^ Zeeman, Kyle (13 February 2018). "Moonchild on stardom, sex and having a stalker". Tshisa Live. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  25. ^ Jason, Stefanie (27 June 2018). "Moonchild Sanelly Q&A – Sex positivity, singing in Xhonglish and Die Antwoord". Basha Uhuru. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  26. ^ Mathebula, Kwanele (9 March 2018). "5 minutes with Moonchild Sanelly". Bona. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Khuzwayo, Charles (12 November 2018). "Moonchild Sanelly insists her Naked Club will not be a brothel". IOL. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  29. ^ Mphande, Joy (10 May 2018). "Things you didn't know about Moonchild Sanelly". Zalebs. Retrieved 5 February 2019.