By Zuko Komisa
A song, A Book and A Dish is our weekly feature on Today with John Perlman where we get to know more about prominent South Africans. Zahara recently joined the show as a guest.
The sixth born child out of seven, she started singing at the age of two and was part of a church choir by the age of 6. Zahara made her massive debut in the music industry with her hit song Loliwe, a song she says was based on migrant labourers who would leave their homes on a train leaving their families behind in search for a better life.
“Loliwe is a metaphor of a journey, whatever train it maybe… we are all on the same train, but have different destinations. You mustn’t force matters, you will get to your own stop, to your own destination… just work hard you’ll get to your destination…” she says.
The album ‘Loliwe’ was released in 2011 and was certified double platinum in 17 days after release. It went on to sell in excess of 100 000 copies, a massive feat that launched her music career and cemented her place in the hearts of South Africans. Zahara also mentioned that in order to know her better, her story and her journey is all in her music.
Listen to the full conversation here:
Mgodi – Her chosen song, she describes as a reflection of a period she was fighting with her former record label. “Mgodi is a hole in IsiXhosa, I felt like I was in a hole and needed to hide, when I went into the whole I didn’t calculate that there would be people running after me…”
She shed some light on some of the issues that have surfaced in the news and her views of the South African music industry.
Makeba: The Miriam Makeba Story, was the book Zahara chose. This was the first complete autobiography of Miriam Makeba. Zahara spoke about how the day she was born was the day Miriam Makeba passed on.
“The person who gave me the book felt like I was the right person to give the book to…”
Amagwinya (vetkoek) and sugar water is a meal she shared fond memories about, a meal her mother would make for her and her siblings. A new album is expected to follow in 2020 where she’ll be sharing more of her story.