Born in Kwazulu-Natal , as a teenager leant to play guitar and went to Johannesburg in 1969 to work as a gardener. He met Johnny Clegg and the two began to play music together, soon performing at folk gatherings as Johnny and Sipho before changing their name to Juluka in 1979.
In 1985 Sipho Mchunu left Juluka in order to focus on his family and his farm.
In 1989 he recorded the solo album Yithi Esavimba released in France and followed that in 1990 with the album Umhlaba Uzobuya with Third Ear Music.
Poor marketing and distribution meant that neither album achieved the sales they ought to have done. He continued to perform with Johnny Clegg as Juluka from time to time and they brought out a further Juluka album in 1997.
He joined Johnny Clegg as a guest artist for some of Johnny Clegg’s final shows.