Uncle Waffles (Real Name: Lungelihle Zwane, born on March 30th, 2000; Age: 23 years old) is a famous South African DJ well known for releasing the hit song, ‘Tanzania’ which went quadruple platinum. Uncle Waffles’ net worth is estimated at over $400,000 (over R6 million).
The popular DJ is presently enjoying an unending gig guide since she was thrust into the spotlight by a viral video of her DJing gig at Zone 6 in Soweto in 2021. Her unprecedented success in the music industry has seen her go from begging for a 5 minute set at clubs to being fully booked a year. Thus far, Uncle Waffles has performed in Australia, the UK, the US, Ireland, and so on. She is seriously causing a stir in the global music platform.
How Old is Uncle Waffles?
Uncle Waffles was born in Eswatini on March 30th, 2000, and is 23 years old. She was raised by her grandmother in Eswatini. Having been abandoned by her parents at birth, the ‘Red Dragon’ crooner had a tough upbringing.
As a kid, the whole circumstance never made sense to her until she reconciled with her mother at the age of nine, and the relationship between them was soured as she felt she didn’t know her. It took the Amapiano star years to get used to being around her mum. They eventually mended their relationship recently.
Celebrating her 22nd birthday on March 31st, 2022, Uncles Waffles was surprised by her team with a lavish party. They made her day special as the party had a little touch of home. It was graced by celebrities such as Kamo Mphela, Moozlie, Pabi Cooper, and Sandile Mahlangu.
The music artist expressed her gratitude to her fans and her team for love shown to her on her birthday. She was thankful to her loyal fans for having a lot to celebrate at such a period as her then-newly released Extended Play, ‘Red Dragon,’ emerged as the most streamed project on Apple Music in SA.
At the age of 23, Uncle Waffles has achieved more incredible milestones in her career than any other female DJ in South Africa. Little wonder, she ranks as American rapper Drake’s favorite DJ in the country.
The Origin of Her Stage Name
When one hears the name Uncle Waffles, what normally comes to mind is a male figure. The DJ, who was nicknamed Waffles by her high school friends, decided to randomly add the ‘Uncle’ term to her nickname to make it unique. She stated that her stage name, Uncle Waffles originated from a joke.
The Amapiano DJ Came to the Limelight in 2021
After completing her Matric in the year 2017, Uncle Waffles enrolled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal to study Information Technology. She later abandoned her study to follow up her passion for music and creative arts. When she was very young, she wanted to venture into TV, producing, and script writing.
She, however, took interest in disc jockeying during her time as a presenter on Eswatini TV. DJ stunner then helped her work on her mixing technique. He tutored her for three months and asked her to start practicing daily to master her craft. After years of practice, opportunity met preparation when Uncle Waffles was asked to perform for the first time at Zone 6 in Soweto in a sold-out show.
Her time slot was 6:30 PM. However, destiny called when she was asked to replace a DJ that failed to show up. According to the sultry DJ, the 30-minute set she wasn’t supposed to get completely changed her life. Her performance was recorded by her management—Kreative Korner, and she decided to upload a 30-minute clip where she was entertaining a crowd with her dance moves to Young Stunner’s smash song, ‘Adiwele’ on her Twitter account just for entertainment.
— Waffles🐉 (@unclewaffffles) October 18, 2021
Surprisingly, the video became an instant hit and garnered hundreds of thousands of views a few hours later. As it went viral, Uncle Waffles became an internet sensation just in a blink of an eye. Today, the video, which was captioned, ‘People are burning’, has garnered more than 5.5 million views on Twitter.
Since October 2021 the video went viral, Uncle Waffles’ popularity has grown by leaps and bounds. She has become one of the most booked DJs in South Africa, thanks to her vibe that pulls crowds. Her killer dance moves and terrific mixes that keep revellers dancing all night have made the 23 years old a phenomenon.
Uncle Waffles’ Net Worth
Uncle Waffles’ net worth is estimated at over $400,000 (over R6 million). In early 2022, the skilled DJ was said to be sitting on a net worth of $150,000 (R2.4 million). However, after her rate card was leaked on social media, it was discovered that the 23 years old was worth way more than that.
In less than a year of gaining recognition, Uncle Waffles emerged as an international star. She has been on international tours multiple times within a year. She reportedly amassed a whopping sum of R5 million from her European tour alone. She has had performances in the UK multiple times in 2022 and was one of the artists that performed in Afronation in July 2022.
Furthermore, Uncle Waffles has racked up her staggering wealth from other revenue streams besides DJing gigs. And here’s a sneak peek into her diverse sources of wealth.
Sources of Uncle Waffles’ Net Worth
Soon after her performance video at Zone 6 went viral, Uncle Waffles started getting bookings from across the continent. Within a short period, she got booked up for the year. She has been endlessly busy since early 2022, performing in clubs, music festivals, tours, and outdoor events. Mzansi was shocked when the DJ’s rate card was leaked by a popular blogger on Twitter.
According to the rate card, the Amapiano DJ charges R80,000 for an hour-long set in a local indoor gathering. She then charges R120,000 for outdoor events. For her international gigs, DJ Uncle Waffles reportedly charges $18,000 (about R302,947) for a club performance and $25,000 (about R420,760) for festival gigs.
The rate card charted the Twitter trends list and forced DJ Uncle Waffles’ management team to clarify that the rate card wasn’t from the company. Hence, they stated that there was no need for them to clarify the validity of the rate card. Thus far in her career, the ‘Tanzania’ singer has performed sets in the biggest festivals in Africa, such as Afrochella and Afronation.
She performed at Afrochella on December 27th, 2021. Alongside top artists in the world, including Chris Brown, Megan Thee Stallion, Burna Boy, DBN Gogo, Focalistic, and DJ Maphorisa, Uncle Waffles pulled the crowds at the Afronation held in Portugal from 1st-3rd July 2022. Later in October 2022, she showcased her sought-after skills in her home country of Eswatini. She performed at House on Fire in Malkerns.
South African singer and DJ has been on the move since she took to the spotlight. She toured the African continent, from Nigeria to Ghana and Tanzania, in November 2021 during her Afri Waffles Tour. Later in March 2022, she embarked on Europe Summer Tour, which saw her performing in the UK, France, Finland, Germany, and Afronation festival in Portugal and thus, boosted her net worth in the process.
Amazingly, during her international tours, most of her shows are usually sold out as her fans can’t get enough of her. The DJ’s first UK show at Aroma LDN was sold out. And the same goes with all her tours in the UK, as well as in Ireland. Her overnight success story is attributed majorly to her natural flair for being an entertainer. Not only does Uncle Waffles embodies the look of nostalgic iconic stars, but her unique dance moves are highly in tune with the beat.
Presently, she has announced a US Tour which will be kicking off on November 23rd, 2022, at the Promontory in Chicago, Illinois. She will be performing in top US cities like Washington, DC, California, New York, and Oakland.
There’s no denying that Uncle Waffles has built herself a very reputable brand with her significant social media following and tremendous success in the music scene. Four months after experiencing overnight stardom, Lungelihle Zwane signed her first endorsement deal with Sprite on February 15th, 2022. She took to her Instagram handle to announce that she has become a new member of the Sprite family.
Five months later, she clinched another endorsement deal with Jagermeister, an alcoholic beverage. Also, Uncle Waffles is associated with the event and lifestyle group Broccoli City. The brand sponsors her tour to the United States as part of their Coco Butter series highlighting Amapiano.
Furthermore, following her partnership deal with Hyundai, the top DJ was gifted a brand-new Hyundai car. She further lends her image to Slow-Mag, Castle Lite, and international beverages and clothing brands.
TV Presenting/Modelling Endeavours
Uncle Waffles started building her net worth as a teenager. In the year 2018, she debuted as the cover girl for the Swazi Bride Magazine. She additionally worked as a presenter of a music and entertainment show, Studio1, on Eswatini TV. She co-hosted the show together with DJ Stunner and Siybonga Nsibande.
In January 2022, she co-hosted MTV Base Special, Yanos Roundtable, with Benzo and Tshego Koke. The show celebrated Amapiano’s biggest stars of 2021. Furthermore, she owns a blog called Perspective. Therein, she posts motivational messages, working as an advocate for mental health.
In March 2022, Uncle Waffles embarked on a musical journey by announcing her upcoming music project―an Extended Play titled ‘Red Dragon.’ She narrated that the EP will only have four singles. Then on March 16th, 2022, she dropped a lead single from ‘Red Dragon’ titled, ‘Tanzania’ featuring Tony Duardo, Sino Msolo, and BoiBizza.
My very first music video is out today, Tanzania music video with @tonyduardo_ , @real_boibizza and @SinoMsolo . Can’t begin to explain how exited I am. Thank you to every single person who helped me bring this to life💗🐉
— Waffles🐉 (@unclewaffffles) September 28, 2022
Within a short while, the song became the most streamed song on Apple Music in South Africa. It also topped the Spotify charts in the country after taking the third spot for a week. Six months after the release of ‘Tanzania,’ Uncle Waffles received a quadruple platinum plaque from her distributor, Africori, after her single registered sales of over 80,000 units. At the age of 22, she became the youngest SA DJ to have accomplished such a feat.
She announced receiving the 4X Platinum Award on her Twitter handle and captioned it, “y’all did that!” dedicating it to her fans. She released the three remaining songs on the EP titled, ‘Love I Need,’ UMalume Wakho,’ and ‘Uwelona’ on March 29th, 2022, and the launch party for the EP was held at Zone 6. Interestingly, they all became commercially successful, adding to the young DJ’s jaw-dropping fortune.
In October 2022, the Amapiano princess released a music video for her hit song, ‘Tanzania.’ And within three days of release, the visual received one million views on YouTube. So far, Uncle Waffles has gained over 6 million all-time plays on Apple Music. More so, she is the founder and owner of a record label called Uncle Waffles Music, through which she releases her songs.
Uncles Waffles is Taking Amapiano Global
Amapiano is a unique style of house music peculiar to South Africa. Since her sudden rise to fame, Uncle Waffles has been boosting the music genre’s popularity around the world. With her shows sold out in some of the most coveted places in the world, such as the prestigious Ministry of Sound Club in London, the music star is busy exporting amapiano sound.
In September 2022, she represented amapiano in the best ways possible when she landed residency on BBC Radio 1. She joined one of the biggest radio stations in the UK as both a host and a DJ for a month. During her residency on the station, the talented DJ shed light on the amapiano genre, playing some of its hottest songs.
Uncle Waffles Possible Collaboration With Drake
Not so long ago people were saying Uncle Waffles will be irrelevant after December. She will be irrelevant as soon as Adiwele song lose the hype.
Look, Now she just got a co-sign from Drake, She is still going strong & harder. pic.twitter.com/FXZEKD49Ek
— 📀Xavier's Son🇿🇦 (@Xavier__101) April 18, 2022
Arguably, Uncle Waffles is the hottest DJ on the block right now. She was followed by Canadian-born rapper Drake on Instagram soon after the video where she was DJing and dancing to the song, ‘Adiwele, ‘ went viral. She uploaded the video on Friday, and the next day, she went ecstatic when she noticed she has gained a follow from the legendary rap artist.
Later on in March 2022, the ‘God’s Hand’ hit maker sneaked into Uncle Waffles’ IG Live comment section to comment, “Top DJ, Top Sound Uncle.” Consequently, there have been speculations that the Swati-born is on the verge of being signed to Drake’s record label, OVO. More so, Drake, in April 2022, co-signed the music star when he reposted an Instagram story about Uncle Waffles’ DJing gig on his Instagram account, which has over 107 million followers.
Drake just mentioned me on his story
— Waffles🐉 (@unclewaffffles) April 18, 2022
A co-sign is a circumstance whereby a famous artist helps to build up the career of an up-and-coming artist by sharing about the new artist on their social media accounts or through a song collaboration. It is seen as a sign of approval. And that, undoubtedly, might be followed up with a collaboration between Drake and Uncle Waffles.
The affiliation between the two music sensations heightened when Drake’s album, ‘Honestly, Never Mind’ was released and the lyrics of one of the songs read, “If I am your favourite uncle, I’d buy waffles every time you waddle outta my castle.” As a result, Uncle Waffles made headlines in Mzansi for many days. It has become obvious that the renowned rapper is crushing after the amapiano DJ and a collaboration between the two is not far-fetched.
Uncle Waffles’ Sexuality Revealed
In April 2022, pictures of Uncle Waffles with her dancers at the Cotton Fest sparked rumors about her sexuality. It was rumoured that the DJ wasn’t born female; that she must be transgender as her dancers are gay and transgender. She immediately rebuffed the rumour by identifying as a proud ally of the LGBTQ community.
Later in July 2022, during an impromptu Q&A with her fans on an Instagram Live session, the Swati-born musician opened up about her sexuality, saying that she is bisexual but has been in a heterosexual relationship.