Zahara whose real name is Bulelwa Mkutukana was born on 9th November 1988 in East London, Eastern Cape in South Africa. She is a South African Singer and songwriter.
She started singing when she was six years at her school choir and at the age of nine she was told to join her senior choir.
In 2011 she released her debut album ‘Loliwe’ which went platinum in 13 days and double platinum after 17 days, selling over 100,000 copies in South Africa.
Her music is classified as ‘Afrosoul’ and sings in her native language Xhosa as well as English.
She was born on 9th November 1988.
- 2014: Best Female Southern Africa during the African Muzik Magazine Awards
- 2014: Best Selling Album for the album Phendula during the 20th Annual South African Music Awards
- 2014: Female Artist of the Year for the album Phendula during the 20th Annual South African Music Awards
- 2013: Southern African Artiste of the Year during the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
- 2013: Best Collaboration during the 19th Annual South African Music Awards for the song ‘Thetha Nami’.
- 2013: Best Selling Ring-Back-Tone for the song ‘Loliwe’ during the 19th Annual South African Music Awards for the song ‘Thetha Nami’.
- 2012: Best Female Artist from Southern Africa during the Kora Awards.
- 2012: Best Female Video ‘Loliwe’ during the Channel O Music Video Awards.
- 2012: Best Collaboration “Incwad’ Encane” during the 18th Annual South African Music Awards.
- 2012: Best Selling Album “Loliwe” during the 18th Annual South African Music Awards.
- 2012: Female Artist of the Year during the 18th Annual South African Music Awards.
- 2012: Newcomer of the Year during the 18th Annual South African Music Awards.
- 2012: Album of the Year “Loliwe” during the 18th Annual South African Music Awards.
- 2012: Best Selling Full-Track Download of the Year “Loliwe” during the 18th Annual South African Music Awards.
- 2012: Remix of the Year “Lengoma” during the 18th Annual South African Music Awards.
- 2011: Best Female Album “Loliwe” during the Metro FM Music Awards.
- 2011: Song of the Year “Loliwe” during the Metro FM Music Awards.
- 2011: Hit Single Of The Year “Lengoma” during the Metro FM Music Awards.
- 2011: She won an Award during the Feather Awards.
- Loliwe (2011)
- The Beginning Live (2012)
- Nelson Mandela (2013)
- Phendula (2013)
- Country Girl (2015)
- Indlela Yam’
- Lucha De Gigantes
- Bomi Endibaziyo
- Stop The Night
- Xa Bendingena Mama
- Country Girl
- Okwami Ngokwakho
- My Guitar
- El Frio
- Liza Lisidinga Lakho
- Thetha Nami
- Lenador y la mujer america
- Rise Again
How did she get into guitar playing?
“When I was young, a Scottish missionary called Lorette Mkafi came to our village. That was 1986. My father was working with white people and she and my father wanted to start a church. People wanted to burn her, but my father stood up and said ‘burn me instead’. Lorette was then accepted by the community. She later took my older sister to music school where she got a guitar. I taught myself on that guitar.”
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Fun things you didn’t know about Zahara!
“My Daddy calls me ‘King’, because he feels I’m the son he always wanted to have” (she has two brothers)
“I love cooking! – Just gooi whatever you want and I’ll do it my way!”
“I’m a good impersonator!” Believe me, she’s spot-on mimicking everyone from Madiba to Winnie and DJ Sbu
In 2018 Zahara is going to do a movie with The Fergusons (Connie and Shona Ferguson) – “It’s like the Amandla! movie. We’ll start shooting in August and I’ll be acting myself from when I was 16”
Now at the cusp of 2018 she’s scooped 39 awards, 17 of them being SAMAs
The first song she learnt to play on guitar was R Kelly’s The Storm is Over Now
Who/what adds creative colour to her life?
“Tracey Chapman because I’m always on the road; India Arie; Mama by Rebecca Malope; Brenda Fassie; Michael Bolton; Michael Jackson; Usher; Hugh Masekela; and I love Adele.”
“I watch the Disney Channel and love recording movies on TV. I love the movie A Walk to Remember”.
“I would love to collaborate with Jay Z, and would have liked to work with Tupac. Obviously people would expect me to say Thandiswa or Ringo, but those are clichés. I love developing and I love The Parlotones. I only found out Kahn likes me on The Voice South Africa.”
Her message to fans
“Thank you to all the South Africans who always go and buy my music. Thank you for believing in this Country Girl!”