Tsakani "TK" Mhinga (1979 - 27 February 2006) was a SAMA award-winning South African R&B and kwaito artist who went by the stage name of TK. She was a princess of the VaTsonga tribe of the Limpopo Province, South Africa, as well as the niece of veteran South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
Her singing style was sometimes compared to that of Mariah Carey,and her voluptuous looks and charismatic stage presence reminded some of Beyoncé Knowles.
She was found dead in a Bryanston, Johannesburg hotel room by hotel staff on 27 February 2006, of what seemed to be either a drug overdose or a drug-induced suicide.
Mhinga was the eldest child of Chief Shilungwa and Tebogo Mhinga of the VaTsonga tribe of the Limpopo province, growing up in Soweto, Johannesburg. At age 12 she first sang in public, singing Over the Rainbow, at a talent competition.
Though her first name "Tsakani" means "to be happy", the singer’s life was often less so. Mhinga’s relationships with men seemed to have been disappointing, starting with her father, whom she described as being "more like a visitor to our home" with her mother raising her and her three siblings mostly alone.
Her first taste of the music industry came from her electric, chemistry driven collaborations with rapper Mizchif.
Since her father was opposed to her being a singer, she launched her solo musical career without telling her family, with her debut album, TKO, in 2000.
This was followed in 2001 by a second album, Tsakani, that included the club hit Eject yo’ ass.
In 2002, TK performed with international act Foxy Brown at the Gauteng R&B Hip Hop Festival and opened for Keith Sweat and Deborah Cox on their South African concerts. TK was also a participant in Celebrity Big Brother UK during this year.
Her third and last album, Black Butterfly (2003) was considered her best.TK’s vocals on the title track (which was written and recorded in only one day) have been compared to that of Mariah Carey. It also includes a poignant rendition of Over the Rainbow, of which TK professed a certain fondness. In celebration of this album, TK’s record company suggested she have a butterfly tattooed onto her left arm. After having them phone her mother for permission first, she happily consented.
Despite being a celebrated artist, none of TK’s albums sold more than 25 000 copies, though she still hoped to reach a worldwide audience, by infusing her style of Rhythm & Blues with an indigenous African flavour.