Uncle Waffles breaks out!
- Providence: eSwatini/South Africa
- Origin story – rise of the celeb/fluencer.
- Uncle Waffles goes viral.
- Drake (@champagnepapi himself) and the following of Uncle Waffles.
- Controversy and famous friends.
It is in the these very uncertain days of the pandemic that Africa’s children are boldly forging ahead, allowing nothing to get in their way. Our culture creators and creatives seem emboldened to express themselves with vitality and urgency. This has given rise to a new kind of breed, the celeb/fluencer. An artful combination of raw ambition, social media charm, a hustler’s mentality, the right endorsements, famous “friends” and, naturally, a viral moment.
Earlier this year we had “Uncle Vinny”, whose arrival seemingly paved the way for Mzansi’s latest darling, Uncle Waffles. It would appear uncles are popping up everywhere, but CSA’s The WIRE has discerned the formula for a lightening quick rise to fame, all a necessity in the entertainment business these days.
She was not always Uncle Waffles. The original, Lungelihle Zwane, 21, from Eswatini, was always destined for show business. She hosted an Eswatini music & entertainment show alongside Siybonga Nsibande and DJ Stunner and, fresh faced, went on to grace the cover of Swazi Bride Magazine in 2018 as a model.
Uncle Waffles goes viral.
As a DJ, Uncle Waffles has only been playing for a year, but has had what the industry calls a seminal break through. A mere three weeks ago Uncle Waffles tweeted a vibey moment behind the decks. It was less about her mixing dexterity and more about her accompanying dance moves. And the internet broke. The amapiano song playing incidentally, in the background is an unreleased song called “Adiwele” by Kabza De Small and Young Stunna. Major League DJs have been teasing the song relentlessly over the last few weeks during their tour of Europe. And just like that, Uncle Waffles has become the hottest thing on the internet, catapulting her into viral fame, four million views later.
Drake (@champagnepapi himself) and the following of Uncle Waffles.
In the mix, it would appear that celestial bodies were aligning as one of the biggest stars in the world, hip hop giant Drake, had taken notice of our young and nubile Uncle Waffles and “followed” her on Instagram. This was not a once off moment as @champagnepapi would be in attendance of her Instagram Live session. Amidst the swirl of collab rumours, Uncle Waffles’ booking fee went up.
Uncle waffles didn't mean for her video to even trend, she was doing what she loved & she did it with such passion that we all fell in love with her. Week in, week out yall talking shit about the poor girl. Next week yall tweeting depression is real. Let her have a her moment!!! https://t.co/wknyl1jpGJ— Don Billiato (@casspernyovest) November 21, 2021
Controversy and famous friends.
Uncle Waffles’ very short career has already been touched by controversy. Another iteration of the celeb/fluencer, Youtube Vlogger Slik Talk, quickly came after Uncle Waffles. Determined to exercise his shock jock brand of entertainment, he called her “the worst, highest paid DJ” and noted that Waffles’ set was “garbage” from the “mixing” to the “song choices”. Casper Nyovest, Kamo Mphela and Award-winning satirist and author Lesego Tlhabi, amongst many others, were not having it. Casper decried, “Let her have her moment” while; Kamo said “He needs to stop hating on women who are more successful than his existence. What a waste of sperm”, and; Lesego called Slik Talk a misogynistic loser.
The latest is DJ Zinhle who defended Uncle Waffles against tweeps regarding her g-string showing as she performs her dances moves in her set. DJ Lamiez Holworthy, a vocal proponent of body positivity and women’s liberties was surprised there was a dress code for a DJ.
Regardless of the haters, Uncle Waffles is smiling all the way to the bank with full bookings for her ‘DJ performance’ this summer.
C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.
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