The urban soul singer, who died in hospital on Wednesday after battling illness, had a musical gift that was unmissable – but what really stood out with each of her live performances was her deep belief in something bigger than herself.
The 35-year-old wasn’t considered a gospel singer but she spoke and sang about her faith every chance she got.
Before performing All About You at a Kaya FM Live and Unplugged show earlier this year, Dikana told the audience the song was about God.
“Everybody knows by now I am not ashamed about God and am always talking about Him. And with this song I’m saying everything in my life is all about Him.”
The song is off Dikana’s third album, I Came to Love, which was released in June.
The touching lyrics read:
“You gave life so that I may have life in abundance / You gave me life so that I may share it and I’m sharing it / You gave me this life so that I may share it / It’s all about you / You gave me peace. So that I may have peace in abundance / You gave me peace so that I may share it and I’m sharing it.”
Growing up in Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth, music was a big part of Dikana’s life. Her late father, Vuyisile “Viva” Dikana, was a jazz drummer, but could play almost any instrument.
But it was after seeing her older sister, Mvula, perform she decided to try singing.
She started out as a vocalist at The Barnyard Theatre in 2008. This was where she explored musical theatre – an experience dear to her. But she knew her destiny was to be a singer-songwriter.
Dikana went on to release three critically acclaimed albums.
In the song Walking Miracle from her second album, This is The Life, Dikana tells of when she had to spend a few months in hospital after being diagnosed with a serious medical condition in 2009: “Lying on that bed. How did I get there?” Dikana wrote. “Lots of questions on my mind weighing me down. Am I going to make it? What do I need to do? Then I remembered I have this word in me. I’m a walking miracle.”
Dikana chose to focus on creating music that had inspirational messages instead of what some would call “empty dance music”. When she left Universal Music for TMP records there was a positive change in her music.
Even with her sister, Zonke, making waves in the industry Dikana didn’t struggle to stand out. The songstress was often asked about a collaboration with her younger sister, something she was always hesitant of despite their close relationship.
“Zonke wanted us to do a song together on the album she’s working on now,” Dikana told Kaya FM’s George Munetsi.
“I agreed and when she came over to my house to play it I suggested the song should build up. She said: ‘Don’t tell me how to sing my song.’
“After quarreling, we burst out laughing and said: ‘Now we remember why we don’t do songs together.’ We are both very controlling,” she said with a laugh.