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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Former Freshly Ground singer Zolani Mahola launches all-female band, The Feminine Force

Not only has she changed bands, but the singer has also changed her stage name, preferring to be known as The One Who Sings.

After announcing her exit from Freshly Ground, where she spent 17 years as lead vocalist, Zolani Mahola has now launched an all-female band, The Feminine Force.

“We aim to explore the full range of the feminine voice, from its shades to its emotions, anger to softness, and harness its power for the greater good,” said Mahola.

The other members who make up the band are Sky Dladla, Genevieve Lee, Ntombe Halam, Cal Thompson and Chante Phillips.

The seasoned artist said the all-woman ensemble was a space of generosity, kindness, laughter and was free from tension.

“The force, the beauty, the sweat, the pain, the suffering, the injustice – this is what The Feminine Force represents.”

Mahola said her vision for the band was to create a safe haven for women to gather, share stories, and bring their voices and energies together, emphasizing the incredible strength that lies within the feminine.

Her mission was to honour the historical strength of women while forging new, empowering structures that allow all members to shine.

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The One Who Sings

More than just the people she jams with, Mahola has also changed her stage name, adopting the moniker, The One Who Sings. The name change signifies a reclaiming of her identity, and homage to her community roots, and a commitment to using her voice as a source of healing and unity.

In 2019 the award-winning vocalist announced her decision to go solo in her music career.

“It has been 17 wonderful years of working with the band and I have been on a journey in the last few years, of slowly delving deep into myself and looking towards what I want for the next part of my chapter in my life,” she said in an interview on CapeTalk in 2019.

“This is not an end for Freshly Ground, this is a new beginning for Zolani Mahola. Freshly Ground is a brand and an entity that is always going to exist. We are always going to be collaborating with each other.”

One of her highlights as part of Freshly Ground was sharing the stage with Stevie Wonder.

“He is my favourite musician and when we were on stage with him for 46664 in Radiocity, New York, was just the most incredible highlight for me.”

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