With its double platinum status, ‘Loliwe’ is credited as the second fastest selling South African album in history, next to Brenda Fassie’s ‘Mememza’, but Zahara isn’t intimidated by her own success.
The singer says she’s constantly trying to better herself and is certain her new album, ‘Phendula’, is even better than the first.
“I am competing with myself,” the confident 24-year-old told the Sowetan. “I know what I did with ‘Loliwe’ and what I have done with ‘Phendula’. I always write songs, so putting the album together took only two months.”
Born as Bulelwa Mkutukana in the Phumlani informal settlement outside of East London in the Eastern Cape, the singer and musician travelled to Johannesburg to record ‘Loliwe’ after being signed to TS Records, and she says she’s not forgotten where she comes from despite having more money now.
“I still remember what I had packed when I was brought to Johannesburg by ubhuti TK,” she reminisced. “I had one pair of All Stars, two baggy jeans, a green and brown track suit, and a few skirts for attending church services.
“The money helps to make life easy because I can now afford clothes and other necessities that I could not afford when I had no money. But I invest a chunk of my money, support my parents, and I love buying guitars. The most I’ve spent on one guitar is R12 000.”
Zahara in 2012 found herself the subject of much media speculation, after a popular publication alleged that TS Records was swindling her out of money, something she eventually publicly denied.
She says this experience has taught her to keep her personal life private and is just “glad that story did not break my family”. The songbird’s stage name of Zahara means ‘blooming flower’ in Arabic.
– TEAMtalk Media