Catherine Saint Jude Pretorius, also known as Dope Saint Jude, is a South African artist. She raps, sings, writes songs, and produces music. Dope Saint Jude is a significant figure in South Africa's hip-hop scene, bringing creativity to her songs with a Cape Town style. Catherine, who is openly queer, uses her music to talk about gender, sexuality, and societal expectations. Influenced by Tupac and the Riot Grrrl movement, Dope Saint Jude combines elements of UK and US rap, South African rhythms, and sometimes classical music samples. Her music spans genres like Hip Hop, Alternative R&B, and Electronic music.

Early Life

Dope Saint Jude, born on April 11, 1990, comes from Elsies River, a working-class neighborhood in Cape Town, South Africa. Growing up in this colored community, she took up the guitar at 12 and started writing poems to go with her music. Eventually, she found her way into hip hop, creating a style often seen as a soundtrack for feminist inclusivity, acceptance, and empowerment. Dope Saint Jude is recognized for introducing a "queer" perspective to the hip hop scene.


Dope Saint Jude kicked off her career in 2011 as Saint Dude, a drag king, and initiated South Africa's first documented drag king troupe. In 2013, she went solo, leaving the troupe behind.

In 2016, Dope Saint Jude joined forces with M.I.A. for H&M’s world recycle week campaign video. July of the same year saw the release of her self-produced debut EP, "Reimagine." In 2017, she made an appearance on Jlin's album, "Black Origami."

Her performances include notable events like the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (2017), Stanford University (2017), and the Afropunk Festival Johannesburg (2018).

November 2018 marked the release of her second EP, "Resilient," featuring the lead single "Grrrl Like," which gained recognition across various platforms. This single found its place in the Apple TV show Dickinson, the Netflix anime series Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, a car manufacturer's advert, the trailer of Netflix’s South African original series, Blood & Water, and the movie Nimona, adapted from the graphic novel of the same name.

In April 2022, she unveiled her third EP, "Higher Self," continuing her musical journey with new creative expressions.


Dope Saint Jude's music focuses a lot on social justice, particularly LGBTQ and women's rights. Being a queer colored woman, she brings her own experiences into her songs, using her work to shed light on issues often overlooked in South African society.

In music videos like "Girl Like," "Keep In Touch," and "Alphas," Dope Saint Jude incorporates elements of South African queer culture, showcasing gender nonconforming wardrobe choices and diverse background dancers, along with the use of Gayle. In her video "Keep In Touch," she includes subtitles for the Gayle dialogue, making the queer culture more accessible to a wider audience.

Her song "Brown Baas" addresses racism in post-apartheid South Africa, with lines emphasizing her representation of the voiceless and the power she holds. She speaks out against the continued challenges faced by her community and confronts the racism that persists, urging others to understand what it's like to be a person of color in contemporary South Africa.


Reimagine (2016)

Resilient (2018)

Go High Go Low (2020)

Higher Self (2022)

Home (2022)