April 16, 2024
Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer

Arguably one of the biggest stars in 2020, but the journey of Doja Cat didn’t just start last year. It began in 2014 when Doja Cat dropped out of high school to focus on music. It paid off. But interestingly, it may come as a shock to many if we told you that the most significant influence on Doja Cat is her mother, Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer. Shocking because Deborah is of Jewish descent and still could influence her daughter’s Hip-Hop genre of music. How is this even possible? Well, you would have to find out as you read further. 

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Quick Facts About Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer

  • Name: Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer
  • Birthday: 1963
  • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
  • Nationality: Jewish-American
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Profession: Artist, Actress, Painter
  • Marital status: Divorced
  • Weight: 55kg
  • Height: 5 feet 6 inches
  • Daughter: Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini (Doja Cat)

Who is Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer?

Deborah was born in 1963. We are not sure of the date as she is pretty private about her life. She is currently 58 years old. Her family background is not in the public domain. But we know she is educated. 

Who is Doja Cat? 

It may come as a surprise that Doja’s name has some African root to it. Doja was born Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini on October 21, 1995, to a South African and Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer. She was born in the beautiful city of Los Angeles. As a young girl, she had always wanted to make music. At age 16, Doja dropped out of high school to make music. With no prior musical production knowledge, Doja taught herself how to record and upload via SoundCloud. The Hip-Hop star was raised alone by her mother, whose husband left for South Africa. 

After uploading a couple of songs on her SoundCloud page, she got recognition and was signed to RCA Records by Kemosabe. One would think getting signed to a label as huge as RCA means everything would fall in place. But it is not always so. 

Doja Cat’s Career

With a record label to help out with productions and logistics, Doja released her debut album Amala in 2018. Unfortunately, the album didn’t gather dust and can be considered a failure. But she didn’t stop there. Doja pushed forward and released a single “Mooo!” Surprisingly the song became a global sensation. It became a song that teenagers and young adults could vibe with. Riding on that fame, she dropped her second studio album Hot Pink. This time around, the world saw that she had a talent. The album shot her to real fame. She had hits like “Say So,” which was certified Gold in just a year! Then the other sing, “Like That,” became a viral song such that the music video featuring emo-rapper Gucci Mane has over 109 million views on YouTube alone. 

With a style that is not common, it raised the question of who Doja Cat’s family was and who raised her. Some fans are shocked when Doja says her mother, Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer, a Jewish woman, influenced her. So, who is this woman? 

Meet Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer, the Mother of Doja Cat

Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer is the mother of the music sensation Doja Cat. She had Amala when she was with a South African, Dumisani Dlamini. Both of them were artists. Dlamini is a South African film producer, actor, composer, and dancer. He made an appearance in The Lion King on Broadway. 

Sawyer, on the other hand, is an artist and a painter. She is in the fashion industry, where she uses her experience to create new styles. 

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They both met in the US while on the Sarafina tour. They fell in love and decided to start a family together. 

Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer and Doja Cat’s Father Separate

Things didn’t go well between Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer and her boyfriend, Dlamini. So, they had to separate. We do not know what caused the friction for them to separate. Dlamini left Deborah for South Africa, leaving her to raise Doja Cat and her unnamed sister. However, there are reports that Dlamini wants back into the lives of his daughter. Amala (Doja Cat) has also revealed that she holds no grudges against him. 

Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer Influenced Doja Cat’s Style of Music

It is a rarity for someone who was raised Jewish to have a flair for Hip-Hop music suddenly. But not Deborah. Doja said her mother had a significant influence on her musical style. Deborah would play music from the Fugees, Seal, Jamiroquai, Erykah Badu, Fire, Alice Coltrane, and others in the house where they lived. Listening to this kind of music changed the way Doja Cat wanted her music. With patience and consistency, Doja continued to make music.

Doja Cat is a Grammy Award Nominee

Even though she had a slow start to her music career, her doggedness didn’t allow her to lose her vision. Today, for her works, Doja Cat has been nominated for the Grammy Awards Three times. She is yet to win, but being a nominee is enough to get her music to the world. 

Is Doja Cat’s Mother Active on Social Media?

Well, Deborah has no social media presence. It seems she would prefer to be off the spotlight and allow her daughter to shine like the star that she is. 

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What is Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer’s Net Worth?

Reports say Deborah is worth $200,000. She got her wealth from her painting and acting, which she does so well. 


Some people prefer to lay low because they do not think they can handle the pressure of fame. Unfortunately, Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer is one of those people.