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Sibongile Khumalo was born in Soweto and guided by her father, Khabi Mngoma, a professor of music, where she studied violin, singing, drama and dance. She has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in music from the University of Zululand and BA Honors from University of the Witwatersrand. In 1993 Khumalo won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award at the Grahamstown Festival.

Khumalo was the first person to sing the title role of Princess Magogo in the first African opera Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu.

Sibongile Khumalo has established herself as a jazz singer in South Africa. So far, she has released three jazz albums: Sibongile Khumalo Live at the Market Theatre, Immortal Secrets and Ancient Evenings.

In 2009, Khumalo was honoured by Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa by being awarded a Doctor of Music honoris causa.