Karen Zoid Biography: South Africa’s Rock Royalty

Karen Zoid Biography: South Africa's Rock Royalty

Karen Zoid, born Karen Louise Greeff on August 10, 1978, is a rock sensation hailed as South Africa’s “Queen of Rock.” Growing up in Belgium as the daughter of a South African diplomat, she later moved to Johannesburg. Her passion for music ignited during her school years at the National School of the Arts, and she pursued her love for the arts by studying drama at AFDA. In 2001, she decided to follow her musical dreams full-time, dropping out of university to focus on her craft.

Karen Zoid

Background information
Birth name Karen Louise Greeff
Born August 10, 1978 (age 45)
Brussels, Belgium
  • Rock
  • pop
  • classical
  • adult contemporary
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • guitarist
  • composer
  • talk show host
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • flute
  • bagpipes
Years active 2001–present
Website www.karenzoid.co.za


Karen Zoid’s musical journey has been nothing short of remarkable. With each album release, she’s solidified her position as one of South Africa’s most iconic rock musicians. Let’s take a closer look at her discography and some of her notable achievements.

Zoid’s debut album, “Poles Apart,” marked her entry into the music scene, released by EMI in June 2001. One of the standout tracks from this album is “Afrikaners is Plesierig,” which has become an anthem in South Africa, earning its place among the country’s greatest songs according to the Sunday Times.

Following the success of her debut, Zoid continued to impress with her subsequent albums. “Chasing the Sun,” released in June 2003, and “Media,” released in July 2005, showcased her versatility and songwriting prowess. Her departure from EMI led to the release of “Postmodern World” in August 2007 under Just Music, further cementing her status as a rock sensation.

In 2009, Sony released “Ultimate Zoid,” a compilation album featuring hits from her previous releases along with new tracks and live recordings. The following year, Zoid treated fans to “Terms and Conditions,” another stellar addition to her discography.

In 2012, Zoid took control of her music with the release of “Zoid Afrika” under her own production company, Karen Zoid Productions. This marked a new chapter in her career, allowing her to explore her creativity freely.

Zoid’s music has not only resonated locally but also internationally, with her songs featured on the audio entertainment of international flights to and from South Africa. She’s also made waves in the film industry, starring in the 2010 film “Susanna van Biljon” and contributing to its theme song.

Beyond her musical accomplishments, Zoid has graced prestigious events such as the inaugurations of Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. She’s also performed at the Nelson Mandela 46664 HIV/AIDS benefit concert and the centenary celebrations of the ANC, showcasing her commitment to social causes.

In addition to her musical pursuits, Zoid has ventured into television, hosting the late-night talk show “Republiek van Zoid Afrika” on kykNET. She’s also lent her expertise as a judge on the local version of the singing competition “The Voice.”

Karen Zoid’s impact on South African music and culture is undeniable. With her electrifying performances, powerful vocals, and unwavering dedication to her craft, she continues to inspire audiences worldwide

Personal Life

In her personal life, Zoid married former band member Don Reineke in 2004, and they welcomed a son together in 2007. However, their marriage ended in divorce in 2010.


Karen Zoid’s impact extends beyond the stage. She’s not only a rock icon but also a symbol of empowerment for the youth of South Africa. Her fearless spirit and electrifying performances have earned her a devoted following, affectionately known as the “Zoid Generation.” With her bandmates by her side, including Henry Steel Jnr, Schalk van der Merwe, and Jonno Sweetman, Zoid continues to rock stages and inspire a new generation of music lovers.


  1. Poles Apart (2001)
  2. Chasing The Sun (2003)
  3. Media (2005)
  4. Postmodern World (2007)
  5. Ultimate Zoid (2009)
  6. Terms & Conditions (2010)
  7. Zoid Afrika (2012)
  8. Drown Out The Noise (2015)
  9. Op Die Oomblik Deel 1 (2017)
  10. Op Die Oomblik Deel 2 (2019)
  11. Under The Covers – Live (2021)
  12. Humanoid (2023)

Karen Zoid Top Songs

1. Aeroplane Jane
2. Postmodern World
3. Small Room
4. Kaapstad
5. As We Go
6. Mascara
7. Engel
8. Deurmekaar
9. Pseudonym
10. Hou Vas Aan Wat Jy Het
11. Early Morning
12. Silverbird
13. 20 Jaar
14. Lift Me Up
15. Afrikaners is plesierig
16. You Belong With Me
17. Mama’s Gonna Sort You Out
18. Reason
19. As Musiek Begin Speel
20. Silly Town
21. Meisie Wat Haar Potlood Kou
22. Beautiful
23. **** Sapien
24. Pleased To Meet Me
25. Lights
26. Ek Lewe
27. Katherine Anne
28. Guy From The Beer Commercial
29. Hold On To Me
30. Katriena
31. Oh My Love
32. I’m So Happy That We’re Friends
33. Vir Jou
34. Maak Nie Regtig Saak Nie
35. Afrikaners Is Pleserig
36. Foto Teen Die Muur
37. Verandering
38. Jan
39. Southern Sky
40. Great Heart
41. Ons Soek Rock & Roll
42. Suburbs
43. Black Guitar
44. Dinosaur
45. Vleesbaai
46. Yuppie S***
47. Forty-Seven
48. Born to Shine
49. Skepe
50. Whole in One

Karen Zoid’s music transcends boundaries, resonating with audiences both in South Africa and beyond. With each album, she continues to push the boundaries of rock music while staying true to her roots and inspiring generations to come.

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