DJ Hlo becomes face and ambassador for new wine brand Le’Maz
KwaZulu-Natal-based DJ Hlosiwe Mthalane, better known as DJ Hlo in the entertainment industry, has been chosen as the face and ambassador of a new wine brand, Le’Maz. The Durban-born producer and musician rose to fame in 2021 with her song Isibani, which won Ukhozi FM’s Song of the Year. The track featured Siboniso and DJ Manzo and received 214,966 votes, making DJ Hlo the first female artist to win the popular radio contest, beating fan favourites including Kabza De Small featuring Ami Faku in the hit song Thina Sobabini, and Zakes Bantwini’s banger Osama.
Controversy and backlashes after winning the award
Despite the success of her single, DJ Hlo was met with backlash as angry fans claimed the voting process was rigged and that she did not deserve the accolade. This led to a social media frenzy with her sympathisers and foes battling it out online, with some arguing that she was looked down upon because she was a woman. The attacks were so severe that DJ Hlo called a media conference and threatened to sue.
DJ Hlo New endorsement deal with wine company
However, as the dust settled, DJ Hlo announced that she had signed a deal with the owners of Le’Maz, a wine brand that is gaining popularity in various high-end restaurants and nightclubs across Durban. DJ Hlo said she was thrilled about the deal, which is a recognition of her work and influence as an artist. She signed a one-year contract that will be renewed based on her performance. She said it was vital for artists to find other sources of revenue besides music. Although she did not disclose the exact amount of the deal, it is understood to be in the region of half a million rands annually.
The launch of Le’Maz
The wine brand was officially launched at Dukkah restaurant, a high-level establishment located on Durban’s Florida Road. According to a 2022 report by Music in Africa on revenue streams for music creators in South Africa, product endorsements and ambassadorships are a lucrative source of income for the music industry. The report further noted that creatives in the sector earn an average monthly income of R10,000 and above through product endorsements.