Born among the RDP houses and shanties of Phumlani Village in the Eastern Cape, singer/songwriter Bulelwa Mkutukana—better known by her stage name Zahara, which means “blooming flower” in Arabic—is an inspirational success story of epic proportions. Often compared to the likes of Tracy Chapman and India.Arie, Zahara enjoyed unprecedented success with her Xhosa/English crossover debut, Loliwe, a heartfelt, acoustic-forward collection of pop songs that showcased her endearingly husky, sincere voice. Not only did the LP go platinum in under three weeks, but also went on to land this TS Records troubadour a whopping eight wins at the 2012 South African Music Awards (SAMAs). She’s since continued to build and explore her signature soulful sound through several successful follow-up albums and iTunes Top 10 singles—among them “Phendula”, “Impilo” and “Nelson Mandela”. Collaborations with industry titans like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Robbie Malinga, Soweto Gospel Choir and 2Face Idibia have also cemented her as an important and prominent voice in contemporary Afro-soul music.
- Jaén, Spain
- Sep 10, 1983