It was a sad day for Mzansi when Zolani Mahola announced she would be leaving Freshlyground
The iconic and proudly South African group are widely known for their feel-good music including anthems, Doo Be Doo, Pot Belly, Fire Is Low and many more.
But Zolani is on a mission to go solo and explore new ventures including acting, story-telling and even engaging with the younger generation.
Zolani spoke to Zalebs about the new chapter of her life...
What inspired your decision to leave the group?
It’s been an epic journey, and Freshlyground will always be an integral part of my life story. I’m extremely proud of what our band has achieved and how we were able to unite our country through music and take our unique sound to the world.
While we are all connected and have so much in common, our experiences of the world are all unique and our individual stories must be acknowledged. The focus of my work will be to encourage others to investigate their own histories and present in the face of the collective story - my story…our story.
What are some of your best experiences as part Freshlyground?
One of my favorite experiences was when Freshlyground and Jesse Clegg were at Radio City Music Hall in New York City June of 2009 singing with my favorite singer of all time Stevie Wonder at a 46664 concert.
Where to next as a solo artist?
Next is to explore my solo voice, to record my music and release it... to work on using my experiences as the singer of Freshlyground to spread a message of intention and possibility in schools, for organizations and for the corporate sector.
If you could, which local and international artist would you collaborate with?
Well I would absolutely love to collaborate with Ed Sheeran! I would love to work with Thandiswa Mazwai on something too..
You have such a positive attitude and you're always smiling. What motivates this?
I just really appreciate the fact that I’m alive and I owe to my father a feeling that I can do anything I want, be whomever I want and I will always be ok.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t have hard times or struggle with all the hard stuff we all do. I just move forward in life with an attitude of gratitude... when I’m being present.
South Africa is in love with your family! How has being a wife & mother been?
Thanks! I love them too. I think all relationships have their unique challenges. The most important thing is being curious about each other’s inner worlds, sharing our own and building a new world together.
And finally, what does Women's Month to you?
It means that we have a long way to go in terms of affording people who don’t identify as heterosexual men equal rights. It’s a reminder that we are not where we want to be and that we are reminding ourselves of that ... as a country and as a species.
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