Clementina Mulenga (born June 14, 1989), professionally known as Cleo or Cleo Ice Queen is a Zambian born hip hop recording artist, renowned television and radio presenter. She has been a Proflight Zambia brand ambassador, as well as a Maximum Diva Woman Condom brand ambassador, She is best known for her role in Big Brother Africa (The chase)[in 2013 and 2015 winner of AFRIMMA Best Female in Southern Africa, 2017 winner Best Female in the SunFm Kwacha Music Awards.
Cleo got her moniker “Ice Queen” from her love of jewelry, which in hip hop slang, is known as “ice”. Cleo was also featured in the 2014 March issue of a Nigerian Magazine VL! Magazine as the cover story.
Early life and career
Clementina Mulenga was born on June 14, 1989. She is third out a family of 5 with two brothers and two sisters. Cleo’s love for hip hop began when she was six years old. She began her singing career when she was 11 years old at that age, her passion for the entertainment industry begun. From Cleo’s own words she says that she wanted to be behind the microphone from the time she was 4 years old. Cleo used to perform at her own parties starting with her 4th birthday. Cleo had her first studio experience while at Banani International School where the school principal built a recording studio at the school. At the age of 16 Cleo recorded and released her first single Hands Up.
Cleo started her music career in 2011 and the following year she released a single titled Big Dreams which featured JK. It was a nationwide hit! Cleo was then featured in Khuli Chana’s official ‘Tswa Daar’ song remix which also featured Ice Prince, Maggz, Navio, AKA and Reason.
In 2013, October 25 Cleo visited the inmates of Lusaka Central Prison not only just just sing and dance for the independence day celebrations, but also donated some goods.
Cleo’s debut album was released in December, 2016 titled Geminice.[ Which has 14 songs and theme of the album is inspired by her Gemini star sign. One part of the album has seven sentimental and lyrical songs, while the other seven songs are fun-loving and upbeat, with party anthems like the Urban Hype featured Turn Up , Addicted and Autobahn.
Cleo released another single in December 2016 titled Soldier produced by Kekero, a melodic side of rap. In the song she talks about the appreciation to the an African man and this was Cleo’s inspiration. All women have that in Soldier in their lives be it father’s, brother’s, spouses, nephew’s and this song is one way or another dedicated to them.
In 2013 Cleo was picked to represent Zambia during the eighth season of the Big Brother Africa reality television series, produced by Endemol for M-Net which began on 26 May 2013, running for 91 days and ending on 25 August 2013. Cleo was in the house for 91 days she came out as the runner-up from Dillish who won 2013’s The Chase season.
Introducing Coke Studio at a glittering preview event in Lusaka, Cleo said: “Making music is an amazing journey, and Coke Studio really shows the talent, effort and fun that artists put into their craft. I’m just so pleased that Zambian music fans can now have a chance to share that passion on QTV.”[
— Cleo speaking in an interview.
On 22 September 2016 Cleo was the first Zambian artist to be picked for the Season 2 of Coke Studio[a music television series in Africa where artists are given the opportunity to create something new and exciting, Cleo the lady of rap, together with the lady of house music, Bucie teamed up with super producer Mr Kamera, singer-songwriter, Les-Ego and master sound engineer, Wilson. The song, Simunye (We are one) was a massive hit, talking about African royalty, unity and oneness with a touch of Cleo’s Zambian tongue, Nyanja and a touch of South African native tongue, Xhosa. This song shows how music has no language barriers.
African Hip Hop Awards
Cleo attended her primary school at Namununga and then did her secondary education at Banani International School as well as Rhodes Park School She enrolled for college education at Midrand Graduate Institute in South Africa. She later dropped out due to family financial difficulties and started to focus on her musical talent and presenting skills.
While at Banani International School, her love for music and basketball escalated. At the age of 13 she won her first award as the best junior basketball player. Cleo was involved in many extracurricular activities as she played for the basketball, Netball, football and Volleyball teams.
Ice Queen then moved to South Africa in 2007 to further her education at Midrand Graduate Institution and pursued a degree in Business Administration, Majoring in Public Relations. In an interview with Slam Dunk Cleo explains that her move to South Africa was to attend college, which forced her to put music on hold for a while, but in 2011 Cleo decided to pursue music as a career.[
On November 27, 2016 she confirmed about the rumours of her pregnancy on her Facebook page where she was replying to one of her fan’s comment. Cleo went ahead to confirm the bump during the recent performance alongside South Africa’s Nasty C rapper, where she said; “You guys are the first people to perform for with my baby bump as you can see! as well as also sh laughed”. On 20 February 2017 she had her second daughter. Cleo is now a proud mother of two girls.
Awards and nominations
|2012||South African Hip Hop Awards||Best Female Rapper||Nominated|
|2013||Born & Bred Awards||Best Female Up coming||Nominated|
|2014||Zambian Music Awards||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|2015||African Muzik Magazine Awards||Best Female Southern Africa||Won |
|2016||African Muzik Magazine Awards||Best Female Southern Africa||Nominated|
|2016||Zambian Music Awards||Best Female||Nominated|
|2017||African Muzik Magazine Awards||Best Female Southern Africa||Nominated|
|2017||Kwacha Music Awards||Best Female Artist||Won |