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South african musician
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro South african musician
Is Singer Songwriter
From South Africa
Type Music
Gender female
Birth 9 November 1987, East London, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Age 33 years
Star sign Scorpio
Peoplepill ID zahara
The details (from wikipedia)


Bulelwa Mkutukana (born 9 November 1988), best known by her stage name Zahara, is a South African singer-songwriter. She started singing in her school’s choir when she was six years old, and at the age of nine she was told to join the senior choir because of her strong voice.

In 2011 Zahara released her debut album Loliwe, which went platinum in 13 days and double platinum after 17 days, selling over 100,000 copies in South Africa. The music video for her debut single, Loliwe, has surpassed the 5 million views mark on YouTube. On 1 May 2012, at the annual South African Music Awards, Zahara won eight awards, including "Best Female Artist" and "Album of the Year".

Early life

Zahara was born as Bulelwa Mkutukana in the Phumlani Informal Settlement outside of East London in Eastern Cape, South Africa, where she lived with her parents Nokhaya and Mlamli Mkutukana. She is the sixth of seven children. She displayed her love for singing at age 6. She first came to wider attention when she was appointed the lead singer of a local Sunday school choir in Phumlani. Her stage name means "blooming flower"; as a child she was known by the nickname "Spinach".

Music career

Her music is classified loosely as "Afrosoul" and she sings in her native language, Xhosa, as well as in English. Her music has been described as a mixture between the styles that have been popularized by Tracy Chapman, and India.Arie.

Zahara's debut album Loliwe was released in 2011. The first issue sold out within 72 hours, and 19 days later, the album reached double platinum status in South Africa by surpassing the 100,000 sales mark. This made her the second musician after Brenda Fassie, who was also a Xhosa native, to reach this figure in such record time. Zahara released her first Live DVD which featured X-Factor USA contestant LeRoy Bell. The DVD reached platinum (according to the standards set by the Recording Industry of South Africa) in one day.

On 1 May 2012, at the annual South African Music Awards, Zahara won eight awards, including "Best Female Artist" and "Album of the Year". Zahara is the brand ambassador for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital.

Zahara's success is largely attributed to the Late Robbie Malinga who produced several of her albums like LOLIWE and Country Girl. The latter won BEST PRODUCED ALBUM at the 2016 SAMAs


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

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations received by Zahara
Year Event Prize Nominated work Result Ref
2014 African Muzik Magazine Awards Best Female Southern Africa Won
20th Annual South African Music Awards Best Selling Album Phendula Won
Female Artist of the Year Won
Best RnB, Soul and Reggae Nominated
Metro FM Music Awards Best African Pop Album Nominated
Best Female Artist Nominated
Song of the Year "Phendula" Nominated
2013 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Southern African Artiste of the Year Won
19th Annual South African Music Awards Best Collaboration "Thetha Nami"
(Riot featuring Zahara)
"Hold On (Bambelela)"
(Zahara featuring LeRoy Bell and the Soweto Gospel Choir)
Best Live DVD The Beginning Live Nominated
MTN SAMA Record Of The Year "Umthwalo" Nominated
Best Selling Ring-Back-Tone "Loliwe" Won
2012 Kora Awards Best Female Artist from Southern Africa Won
Channel O Music Video Awards Best Female Video Won
18th Annual South African Music Awards Best Smooth Urban Music Album Loliwe Won
Best Collaboration "Incwad' Encane"
(Zahara featuring Georgie Munetsi)
Best Selling Album Loliwe Won
Newcomer of the Year "Loliwe" Won
Female Artist of the Year Won
Album of the Year Loliwe Won
Best Selling Full-Track Download of the Year "Loliwe" Won
Remix of the Year "Lengoma"
(DJ Sbu featuring Zahara)
Hip Hop World Awards (The Headies) African Artist Of The Year "Loliwe" Nominated
2011 Metro FM Music Awards Best Produced Album Loliwe Nominated
Best Female Album Won
Best Newcomer Nominated
Song of the Year "Loliwe" Won
Hit Single Of The Year "Lengoma"
(DJ Sbu featuring Zahara)
Feather Awards Musician
(Zakes Bantwini and Zahara)
  • A ^ The Metro FM Music Awards were not held in 2012 due to re-positioning. The award ceremony was held in 2013.
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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