Zahara Biography: Age,‌ ‌Education,‌ ‌Family,‌ ‌Boyfriend,‌ ‌Career,‌ ‌Awards‌ ‌& ‌Nominations,‌ ‌Philanthropy,‌ ‌Controversy,‌ ‌Net‌ ‌Worth

Self-taught guitarist breaking South African records

By  | May 04, 2020, 11:10 AM  | Zahara  | Top of The

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A self-taught guitarist now touring the world and known throughout for her acoustic contributions, she climbed the same ladder as Brenda Fassie

Zahara grew up loving singing and along the way she found that she could add a guitar into the mix, and bless so many people through her calm voice and strings she plays.

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Zahara Age

Zahara was born on the 9th of November in 1988, she is 31-years-old. 

Zahara Family

The musician was born in Phumlani Informal Settlement and was given the name Bulelwa Mkutukana at birth. Growing up, she stayed with her parents Nokhaya and Mlamli Mkutukana. Zahara is the sixth child of seven children. 

Zahara started showing her interest in singing at the age of 6 when she joined the Sunday School choir, where she was recognised for her singing and  was later appointed as the lead of the Sunday School choir in Phumlani.

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Zahara was given the stage name “spinach” which led to her stage name, “Zahara” which means a blooming flower

The musician lost her brother Mbuyiseli Mkutukana in 2014 who was brutally murdered, it led the musician to put a pause on her music to mourn. She continued a year after the death of her brother. 

Zahara ‌Boyfriend

Zahara was seeing Ian Sibiya. The duo celebrated their second anniversary in 2019 but, sadly thereafter the two broke up. Due to speculations that Ian was worried about his personal life being made available on social media. 

According to her manager, Oyama Dyosiba said to the paper, “We have been working extremely hard on tours, line-ups and all the busy schedules one could ever think off. I want her to settle down with a well-deserved man who will compliment her and support her. I want her to be swept away by the love and be happy.”

The singer could become a missus by the end of the year. She is reportedly dating a pastor. After breaking up with her ex-boyfriend, Zahara revealed that she wants to be in a relationship and settle with a God-fearing man.

“I derive my ambition from my parents, who are Christians. They have been married for so many years and they are still best friends,” she said

She confirmed her rumoured relationship status, and closed it off with “might get married soon” or “before the end of the year”.

Zahara Career

Zahara is a classical Afrosoul queen who sings in her native language, isiXhosa and she sings some of her songs in English. In describing her unique sounds and songs, her music is classified as a mixture of Tracy Chapman’s sound and India Arie who is an RnB musician.

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Being a self-taught guitarist, Zahara learned her ways throughout until she perfected her craft and was ready to record her first album. Zahara released her debut album, Loliwe in 2016. The musical genius in Zahara had made news throughout the country. 

She sold out within 72 hours of her release and after 20 days, the album was already on a double-platinum status. She had sold over 100 000 copies. 

The musician had a grand entrance which also recorded her in the history books. Zahara became the second musician in South Africa, after Brenda Fassie (Legendary South African Musician) - to reach the double platinum status at the given 20-days time-frame. 

Zahara felt ready to record a DVD for her album and she featured the X-Factor USA contestant whose voice is godly, LeRoy Bell. According to the Record Industry of South Africa (RISA), the musician had set a new record for the country as her DVD reached platinum in one day. 
The singer released her second studio album in 2013, Phendula. As usual, Zahara sold out the album but she couldn't sell it as fast as Loliwe. 

Zahara was honoured in 2013 when she was invited by the late Humanitarian giant, former South African first black President - Nelson Mandela. He invited her to his home for a private bedside concert.

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Zahara was grateful for the invitation and she later composed and recorded, Nelson Mandela which she later released as an E.P featuring the likes of South African veteran poet Mzwakhe Mbuli

She continued with music in 2015 when she released Country Girl which warmed the hearts of her fans who were long waiting for her release. Zahara’s success was mostly through the support of the late Robbie Malinga (South African Music Legend) who produced most of the musician's crafts and worked on Loliwe and Country girl.

Zahara decided that it was time for growth in her craft and she decided to sign with Warner Music South Africa and she later released her fourth studio album, Mgodi.

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She made her way into the history books again when the album was recorded to have sold gold in six hours. 

This is her discography:

Loliwe (2011)
The Beginning Live (2012)
Nelson Mandela (2013)
Phendula (2013)
Country Girl (2015)
Mgodi (2017)

Zahara Awards‌ ‌& ‌Nominations

Zahara has been in the music industry since 2011 and throughout her contributions, she has made new records, performed for Nelson Mandela on his bedside.

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Here is what she has accomplished. 

2011 - Metro FM Music Awards for Best Produced Album, Best Female Album, Best Newcomer, Song of the Year, Hit Single of the Year
2011 - Feather Awards for Best Female Newcomer 
2012 - 18th Annual South African Music Awards for Best Smooth Urban Music Album, Best Collaboration, Best Selling Album, Newcomer of the Year, 
Female Artist of the Year
Album of the Year, Best Selling Full-Track Download of the Year, Remix of the Year "Lengoma"
2012 - The Headies - African Artist of the Year 
2012 - Kora Awards for Best Female Artist from Southern Africa Won
2012 - Channel O Music Video Awards for Best Female Video
2013 - 19th Annual South African Music Awards for Best Collaboration, Best Live DVD, MTN SAMA Record Of The Year
2013 - Nigeria Entertainment Awards for Southern African Artist of the Year
2014 - Metro FM Music Awards for Best African Pop Album, Best Female Artist, Song of the Year
2014 - 20th Annual South African Music Awards for Best Selling Album, Female Artist of the Year, Best RnB, Soul and Reggae
2014 - African Muzik Magazine Awards for Best Female Southern Africa
2016 - South African Music Awards for Best Produced Album

Zahara Philanthropy

Zahara is known for her giving hand. She is a humanitarian at heart who learned the essence of helping at a young age. She grew up looking up to the likes of Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and so many who have offered themselves for the Freedom of South Africa.

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Zahara supports families that are suffering to afford every day living expenditures. Zahara has charities in East London that she assists annually.

She has worked with with the NPO Helping Those in Need, Breath of Life and had handed school shoes in Sebokeng, which is based in Vaal - Southern part of Johannesburg.

Also read:
Zahara denies going on Instagram Live while drunk

Zahara Controversy 

Zahara has always been associated with alcohol in social media. She shared music and a couple of funny moments as her way of coping with social distancing.

But it wasn't for long until rumours started spreading that she was drunk on her live feed. In her conversation with TshisaLive, she said:

"My Instagram Live videos are always so lighthearted. I am always joking and was just having fun so I am alarmed with people saying these things. I did a lot of crazy things and no-one said anything. Someone asked me to sing the anthem and I decided to just have fun with it. I just wanted people to laugh at me struggling with the anthem, it wasn't meant to be disrespectful or a big issue.

“It hurts me because they say people don’t know me. I don't drink, even though people around me do. I am not worried about it though, I will continue with my Instagram Live videos.”

In 2019, Zahara decided to break the silence and expose the unhealthy relationship that she had with TS Records, a record label owned by Dj Sbu.

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She accused the record label of abusing her "financially" since her debut album. Zahara decided to take the issue to the hands of the legal authorities.

Zahara exposed in 2019 that she still had not received any payment. On her interview with Mo Flava, on Metro FM - she decided to make her legal journey public, using her case as a learning curve for other artists.

"If you remember when I came into the industry, my sister and my mother were trying to fight for my money... but I told them to keep quiet because I was scared," Zahara revealed on Metro FM.

Zahara explained the monetary position which was happening at the time with TS Records. 

"I didn't know that I was damaging myself... because why would I go and work and then have to beg for my money... which was sometimes a mere R10,000. Why would I go work and have to plea for that R10,000 that I need to ask for months on end? I'm not dumb, my family also knew about all this. I was at the point where I was dependent on Samro money, that comes quarterly," she said before taking a moment to compose herself

Zahara Net‌ ‌Worth

Zahara has been estimated to be worth over R15 million through her collaborations, Tours, shows and Endorsements. She owns a Ranger Rover and a Mercedes Benz and has over 3 properties.

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Surely Zahara is not going to stop anytime soon from releasing great music.

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