On Air Personality

Zimiphi Biyela

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She is well known by the listeners as Zimdolla Biyela

Zimiphi Happiness Biyela, popularly known as “Zim Dollar” was born in the dusty rural area of eNdabazensangu under King Cetshwayo District, Obuka. A twin and a third of six children, she was her parent‟s light as the first daughter born into the family. It was through this light that she would pass through the rest of her life. She started her schooling career at St Paul‟s Primary School in Nkwenkwe, and then moved to Sitheku High School for her high school, completing her matric in 2001.   

She had always known that she was destined for great things, even though she did not know then in which direction life would take her. Her talents landed her a first job at Mbongeni Ngema Committed Artists as a dancer, lead vocalist and actress. She stayed at this company, putting her talents to good use for three years while gaining skills that she would later use in various aspects of her life. With the knowledge that education plays a vital role in a person‟s life, she enrolled for a Bachelor of Education Degree at the University of South Africa (Unisa), however she could not complete her degree due to unforeseen circumstances after two years of studying.   

Not one to allow a couple of setbacks to define her life, she landed herself a job as a teacher at Ohlelo Combined School in Nkandla. It was while she was teaching that she released her first afro-pop album in 2009.  The album was titled “Kwaze Kwamnandi”, and it kick started her career in the music industry. Also while teaching, she took her first step into the radio industry doing news reading at Icora FM in 2010. It was the beginning of great things for this rising star, who then heard about the Ukhozi FM radio presenter search in 2011. She had never dreamt of being a radio presenter – she had dreamt of being an actress and newsreader and yet here was
 
an opportunity presenting itself. Deciding to take a chance on herself, she auditioned and even though she did not win, the station was so amazed by her natural talents and presenting style which was effortless and gripping, that they decided to keep her at the station fulltime.  

It has been said that you do not choose some careers, they choose you. In 2014 she joined SABC 1‟s Uzalo as „Samukelisiwe Keke Nzuza‟. The industry recognized her efforts, as she was nominated for the Best Actress category in the Sabela Mabhunu Awards 2016. This was an incredible achievement for her to be nominated amongst some of the greats in the television industry.   

At Ukhozi FM she has done various shows including Ikhethelo loKhozi, Sibhukuda Kwesimanzonzo, Kwasa Okungaliyo, Ezamabandla and Sigiya Ngengoma – a traditional music niche show boasting three million listeners. This on its own was a great accomplishment as she was one of the very first women to get into that space due to the high male dominance of previous years.  

Zimiphi Biyela, daughter of the soil and woman of many talents, is also a motivational speaker who is passionate about matters pertaining to tradition, and culture. She also works as an MC, and does movie gigs from time to time. A woman all about infiltrating spaces that are male dominated, Zim Dollar is also in the taxi industry, and has been pursuing this force for two years now. She also has big aspirations of one day acting in a television show transcending borders, and one that will catapult her into the international sphere. She would also love to own a traditional fashion boutique, also breaking barriers.

Zim Dollar has a lovely ten year old son that she adores.

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