Babes Wodumo Biography: The Qqom Queen

Babes Wodumo Biography: The Qqom Queen

Bongekile Mildred Simelane, better known as Babes Wodumo or simply the Qqom Queen. Born on March 25, 1994, in Lamontville, Durban, Babes Wodumo is a South African singer-songwriter, choreographer, and a true force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

Babes Wodumo

Birth name Bongekile Mildred Simelane
Born March 25, 1994 (age 30)
Durban, South Africa
Genres Gqom
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • dancer
  • choreographer
Years active 2016–present
  • West Ink
  • Afrotainment

Early Life 

Babes Wodumo’s journey to stardom began when she released her first song titled “Desha” in 2014, produced by Sir Bubzin. After signing with West Ink, she skyrocketed to fame with the release of her hit single “Wololo” featuring Mampintsha in December 2015. This catchy track earned her nominations for Best Breakthrough Artist and Song of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards, marking the beginning of her meteoric rise.

In 2016, Babes Wodumo dropped her debut album “Gqom Queen, Vol. 1,” which became a massive success. With chart-topping singles like “Wololo,” “Umgan Wami,” and “Mercedes,” the album solidified her status as a queen of the Qqom genre, earning her widespread acclaim and a platinum certification from the South African record industry.

Gqom Genre

Babes Wodumo is celebrated not only for her infectious beats and electrifying performances but also for her role in popularizing the gqom genre both locally and internationally. Alongside other influential figures like DJ Tira, Okmalumkoolkat, and Malumz Kole, she played a pivotal role in bringing gqom music to the global stage, earning recognition and admiration for her innovative sound and dynamic style.

In July 2020, Babes Wodumo released her highly anticipated sophomore album, “Idando Kazi,” featuring collaborations with top artists like Mampintsha, Skillz, T.N.S, and Madanon. The album received critical acclaim and was nominated at the 27th South African Music Awards, further solidifying her reputation as a powerhouse in the industry.


Babes Wodumo’s notable songs:

  1. “Wololo” featuring Mampintsha
  2. “Mercedes”
  3. “Umgan Wami”
  4. “GandaGanda” featuring Mampintsha and Madanon
  5. “Jiva Phez’kombhede” featuring Ntando Duma and Mampintsha
  6. “Ka Dazz”
  7. “Family” featuring Cassper Nyovest and Mampintsha
  8. “Umphabazo” featuring Mampintsha and CampMasters
  9. “Angisona” featuring Mampintsha
  10. “Otshwaleni” featuring Mampintsha and Drega

Personal Life

Babes Wodumo’s journey hasn’t been without its challenges. In 2019, reports surfaced of a domestic violence incident involving her boyfriend and manager, Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo. Despite the turmoil, the couple reconciled and continued their musical partnership, with Mampintsha featuring prominently on her second album, “Idando Kazi.”

In 2020, Babes Wodumo tied the knot with Mandla Maphumulo, and the couple welcomed their first child in 2021. Tragically, Mandla Maphumulo passed away in December 2022, leaving behind a legacy of music and love.


Throughout her career, Babes Wodumo has garnered numerous nominations and awards, including nods from the MTV Africa Music Awards, BET Awards, and South African Music Awards. Her contributions to the music industry have earned her respect and admiration from fans around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions About Babes Wodumo

Who is Babes Wodumo? Babes Wodumo, also known as Bongekile Mildred Simelane, is a South African singer-songwriter and choreographer. She gained fame for her energetic performances and her contributions to the gqom music genre.

What is gqom music? Gqom is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Durban, South Africa. It is characterized by its minimalist beats, syncopated rhythms, and repetitive vocal samples. Babes Wodumo is often credited with popularizing gqom music both locally and internationally.

What are some of Babes Wodumo’s popular songs? Some of Babes Wodumo’s popular songs include “Wololo,” “Mercedes,” “Umgan Wami,” “GandaGanda,” and “Jiva Phez’kombhede.” These songs showcase her energetic style and her ability to create infectious beats that get people dancing.

What awards has Babes Wodumo won? Babes Wodumo has been nominated for and won several awards throughout her career. She has received nominations from prestigious award ceremonies such as the MTV Africa Music Awards, BET Awards, and South African Music Awards. Notably, her debut album “Gqom Queen, Vol. 1” won Best Dance Album at the Dance Music Awards in 2017.

What is Babes Wodumo’s personal background? Babes Wodumo was born Bongekile Mildred Simelane on March 25, 1994, in Lamontville, Durban, South Africa. She is known for her dynamic stage presence and her dedication to promoting South African culture through her music.

Has Babes Wodumo faced any challenges in her career? Yes, Babes Wodumo has faced challenges, including a publicized domestic violence incident involving her boyfriend and manager, Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo, in 2019. Despite the turmoil, the couple reconciled, and Babes Wodumo continued to pursue her music career.

What is Babes Wodumo’s latest album? Babes Wodumo’s latest album is titled “Indando Kazi,” released in July 2020. The album features collaborations with various artists and received critical acclaim for its innovative sound and energetic tracks.

Is Babes Wodumo active on social media? Yes, Babes Wodumo is active on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, where she shares updates about her music, performances, and personal life with her fans.

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