Winnie Khumalo is a South African singer and actress who first rose to fame as a teenager, having been introduced to the music industry by the late Brenda Fassie, for whom she worked as a backing singer.
Born in Soweto, at the age of 15 she released the album Hey Laitie, Tshina Tshina (produced by Sello Chicco Twala) and an album entitled Dlamini, also in the 1980s. She also recorded a gospel album titled Izono Zami in the 1990s, produced by Pastor Langa Dube.
A highlight of her early music career was working with Brenda Fassie as Brenda's backing vocalist. She has also hworked with the likes of Pure Magic, Sipho Mbele, Brothers of Peace (B.O.P), Bongo Maffin, Zonke Dikana and DJ Cleo, among others.
Khumalo also had small roles in the SABC series Muvhango and Mponeng, in which she played the role of a sangoma, and a stage play titled The Journey.
After a break from live performance and recording, Khumlo returned in 2008 with a mature album titled "I Just Wanna Live My Life", produced and distributed by Kalawa Jazzmee Record's Oscar "Oskido" Mdlongwa.
This album went gold, selling over 25,000 copies and more than 50,000 mobile downloads.
The video for "I Just Wanna Live My Life" was nominated for "Best Dance Video" and "Best Afro Pop Video" at the Channel O Music Awards and was also nominated as one of the Top 5 Nominees at the South African Music Awards (SAMAs), alongside DJ Oskido, Liqui-Deep, Big Nuz and Rhythmic Element in the category "Record of the Year".
Winnie was selected to take part in the Shoprite Checkers Women of the Year competition as well as the Museke online Africa Music Awards.
She and Sello Chicco Twala composed a hit song which topped the chats titled "Mina Ngiyohlala Nginje", which Khumalo was seen performing alongside South African President Jacob Zuma during the 2009 ANC election campaigns.
In 2011 and 2012 her daughter, Rethabile Khumalo, auditioned for the M-Net reality singing competition Idols, but was told by judges that she was too young for the competition.
In 2012 Winnie was announced as one of the seven choirmasters for the Mzansi Magic reality competition Clash of the Choirs South Africa, which aired in 2013. She mentored the choirs from Western Cape.
In 2014 she was a celebrity mentor to Gauteng contestant Hazel Thandiwe Khumalo - a bubbly, outspoken 36-year-old mother of three who lives in Mapehla in Soweto - in the e.tv reality competition series SA's Kitchen Queens.