After two years off to start a family, Singer-songwriter Denise Zimba turns longboard surfer.

After Denise Zimba’s two year time-out from music, her latest single Thobela, is her way of telling the fans and industry “I have gone away but now I am back”. The singer and dancer is more excited than ever to return, create her own narrative and tell her own story. 

And in the spirit of change she joins The Insider SA for an exploratory surf experience at Muizenberg Beach. The popular surf spot that is known as the best place to ‘learn to surf’ in Cape Town.

Opting for a one-on-one session with the respected Gary’s Surf School, coach Brendan was a wise choice for the first-timer who, having moved successfully from presenter to actor to recording artist, learnt fast.

While Denise has achieved much in her 33 years, it’s been a driving force that’s fueled her need to do more. 

“One thing I can tell anybody who is in a similar space, that wants to flourish, is to just trust your instinct and to follow your gut. Don’t worry about what anybody has to say. Just commit and be sure to follow through.” 

Doing what comes naturally has worked in raising her daughter Leah and so it proved here. daughter, Leah who is now two years old, the singer says she had to redefine herself.

“I did pretty well. I caught some waves which was really, really cool. The water was refreshing. Brandon was a really good instructor and I had a really good time. I surprised myself but I’m happy,” says Denise of her session on the water.  

She followed up the invigorating experience with an aerial yoga session. You read right, aerial yoga. We’re told it’s a practice that has a wealth of benefits including improving posture, assisting with lower back pain and is great for joint and spinal compression. 

This was another first for Denise who found herself hanging upside down in an aerial hammock with Megan Moore from House of Movement.

“I’m so excited to be at the House of Movement because one thing about being a mom is that I’ve started experiencing back pain and it seems like this may help me with my posture and with my back and re-align everything to give strength to my back,” says Denise. 

The morning’s activities left the singer hungry so we made a stop to refuel. A return from her sabbatical from music and her time in her husband’s native Germany, has the flavours and places of home feeding her soul while a visit to one of her favourite eateries – Kloof Street House – was just what she needed to satisfy her taste buds. 

“As a working female in the industry, as a mother, as a wife, sometimes you just need some alone me-time. I love this place because they have incredible food,” explains Denise.  

Such vintage surroundings had Denise in the mood for discussing the old-school influences of her new sound.

“You can expect different fusions of different styles from my influences growing up – R&B, funk, hip hop, jazz. You can hear it in the melodies, in the writing and the instrumentals. I’m working with really amazing producers so I’m really excited for people to get a chance to see a different side of me musically.”  

From roots in theatre to her musical career, the lady has always been happiest performing live on stage and the fans await her return.





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