Replay Zahara: 10 Songs to Celebrate the South African Afrosoul Star

Zahara, born Bulelwa Mkutukana on November 9, 1988, in Eastern Cape, South Africa, is a renowned singer-songwriter. Growing up in Phumlani, a small village, her early life was marked by a passion for music, learning to play the guitar at a young age. Zahara was raised there with her parents Nokhaya and Mlamli Mkutukana, the sixth of seven children. Zahara started singing in her school’s choir when she was six years old, becoming the lead singer there, and at the age of nine, she was asked to join the senior choir because of her strong voice. Her stage name means “blooming flower” in Arabic. As a child, she was known by the nickname “Spinach” after her love of vegetables.

Zahara rose to prominence with her debut album “Loliwe” in 2011, which became a massive success and broke various records in South Africa. Her soulful voice and ability to blend Afro-soul and pop genres set her apart in the music industry.

Throughout her musical journey, Zahara has released several albums, each showcasing her growth as an artist. Notable works include “Phendula,” “Country Girl,” and “Mgodi.” Her lyrics often reflect personal experiences and resonate with a diverse audience.

Zahara’s achievements extend beyond the borders of South Africa. She has received numerous awards, including the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) and Metro FM Music Awards, solidifying her as one of the country’s musical icons.

Beyond the stage, Zahara is known for her philanthropic efforts, supporting various causes. Her impact on the South African music scene and her commitment to making a positive difference in society make Zahara a multifaceted and inspirational figure.

On the 12th of December, she died in Johannesburg at the age of 35. She had suffered liver disease after problems with alcoholism, confirmed by Dyosiba in 2019. Here are 10 songs from her catalog to celebrate her life and career.

Loliwe

Lengoma

Destiny

Ndize

Mgodi

Umthwalo

Imali

Xa Bendingena Mama

Izolo

Incwad’encane

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