by Lindiwe Tsope
Her first album Loliwe went platinum and to keep up with her standards Phendula has sold over 100 000 copies. Her musical trajectory hasn’t changed; it only gets better, with collaborations with the Grammy award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo; Mzwakhe Mbuli a commended poet; the Godfather of Nigerian music, BET Award winner and MTV Award winner 2Face Idibia; the ‘SA Idols twins’ Anele and Nelisiwe Mxhakaza whom we have seen on our screens in the South African Idols as well as Tresor of Congo.
Phendula (respond) is a product of TS Records, produced by Mojalefa Thebe and Robbie Malinga. It is inspired by Zahara’s daily experiences and loved ones- basically issues of life. When listening to her album one feels the spiritual journey she has been through. In her first song “Rise again” it is evident that she is resilient and determined. Phendula is not only the title of the album; it is one of the songs and a plea to her higher being, God. In an interview she said that Phendula was a prayer for Africa.
Watch Phendula live here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuZ4jiGnWco
If you know the singer and songwriter you will understand that her sound is simplistic but her voice and diverse music manages to touch many lives. This time she has gone beyond herself featuring African artists and also including a French song. Her sound has matured from her first album Loliwe. Even though her 14-track album is mainly in Xhosa it doesn’t stop one from dancing to the Nigerian touch in “Stay”.
See making of “Stay” here: http://vimeo.com/74846242
The afro-soul singer reaches out to a diverse audience. Songs like “Mandela” show her appreciation to the ‘qhawe lama qhawe’, legendary leader, for his commitment to the country. She continues to motivate her listeners through speaking for many in her music.
See live performance of “Mandela” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhAm8c9lprk
Once again the festive season will be filled with sounds of Zahara. Family gatherings, clubs and cars will be playing at least one of her songs. Her limited lyrics will make it even better for us to sing along to her magical album.
Ardent fans have been given the opportunity to see her perform during her Phendula nationwide tour sponsored by Nedbank, SABC, Independent Newspapers and DRUM Magazine. The tour will go on from 27 September 2013- 08 December 2013.