New music from Zahara expected next year: Thebe

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Veteran musician and producer, Mojalefa “Mjakes the Producer” Thebe says Zahara’s fans should expect music from the departed songbird sometime next year.

Thebe was speaking at the late singer Bulelwa Mkutukana‘s memorial service at the East London International Convention Centre in the Eastern Cape on Friday.

He says in his last moments with Zahara, they created two songs in which she thanked her fans for their unwavering support. Thebe says the late artist was going through a lot.

“The last song that we did is called ‘Wena’. It was a tribute song, where she was thanking her fans and everyone who supported her. She also said that a person cannot be thrown away and thanked the fans for not forgetting her. Talking about things that kill a person, that death comes in the mind, in the heart and then in the body.”

Video: Zahara’s memorial service in East London, Eastern Cape

The musical award-winning sensationalist was remembered by friends, family and colleagues in the music industry. Speaker after speaker described her as a selfless and caring person who was always ready and willing to assist those in need.

Family member Nkosiyam Mkutukana says, “I would like to thank Arts and Culture as well as other stakeholders. Had it not been for you those events would not be on this level. We thank you for your support.”

Zahara’s journey

Zahara’s journey into the music spotlight began when she was discovered by former record label executive TK Nciza, who spotted her in an East London pub called Talamanca in 2009.

Nciza says, “Zahara sitting there singing ‘Loliwe’, I saw a number of things, I saw extraordinary things, but over and above the vision that I had was that she is gonna heal the nation.”

In 2010 Zahara was flown to Johannesburg to start her career as a professional musician.

In 2011 she took the country by storm when she released her debut album “Loliwe”, which was certified double platinum.

It became South Africa’s second-fastest-selling album after the 1997 record Memeza by late music icon Brenda Fassie.


Zahara went on to win multiple awards for her hit album Loliwe – Three Metro Awards and Eight SAMA Awards.

Her success continued with subsequent releases of albums such as “Phendula”, “Country Girl”, “Mgodi”, “Nqaba Yam” and in August this year, she released her six-track EP titled “Woman of Power”.

As her star rose Zahara made headlines for the wrong reasons as she succumbed to depression, alcoholism, and also had financial difficulties.

“I was not told the pros and cons of the industry … It hit me when I was not prepared.”

Despite it all – her talent remained, in her career, Zahara won 17 South African music awards, multiple METRO FM Awards, recognised in Nigeria, and was included on a list of the 100 Most Influential Women in the World in 2020 by the BBC.

Zahara’s impact extended beyond music; she also served as the Brand Ambassador for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and earlier this year, Zahara gave her supporters a front-row seat to her life when she let the cameras in for the debut season of her reality show “Zahara: As I Rise”.

In most of her interviews, she always maintained that her ultimate purpose in this life was to inspire people and give them hope and that’s what she gave to South Africa and the world.

Zahara’s funeral will be on Saturday in her hometown of East London. -Additional reporting by Zinziswa Mani