Zahara fuelled by the love of her fans as she takes her gift to fresh heights

It has been more than a month after East London singing sensation Zahara released her Umgodi album and the singer cannot thank her fans enough for the support she has received.

GOING WITH THE FLOW: Musician Zahara is riding a wave of success following the launch of her album, ‘Umgodi’ Picture: SUPPLIED

Speaking with the Daily Dispatch yesterday during her album promotional tour, the Phumlani-born singer said she was where she is now because of her supporters.

“I had no single out but they still bought my album. This is amazing and I am grateful to the people of South Africa for their support.”

Zahara said the album tells a story of liberation from struggle through love, faith and strength.

“I am not about the fame. I am here to tell my story. I am sharing my life with the hope of inspiring and encouraging people. I told people that if they want to hear my story, they must buy the album and they did,” she said.

On the album she features Kirk Whalum, an American jazz saxophonist and songwriter. Zahara will soon be heading to the States to record two songs with Whalum.

“When he did the two songs with me, we didn’t pay him. He said I could do songs with him instead.

“I told him I would write in Xhosa and he said that’s fine.”

Since the release of the album last month, Zahara has performed in various parts of the continent and will be performing at the Buyel’Ekhaya Pan African Festival next month.

The singer, who made her debut in the industry in 2011 under TS Records, has since left the stable to start her own record label.

Together with her former manager, Sanele Dlamini, the two have formed MHL Records, and Zahara is their first artist.

The label has a distribution deal with Warner Music South Africa.

“When I was just an artist under a label, I didn’t have a lot of things to worry about, but now things have changed. I have to worry about everything, but it’s all worth it.

“What matters is that I am doing what I love for now,” she said.

While the singer travels the continent and the world, her fans, known as the Zahara Army, have been fighting for the singer to get airplay.

One of her fans, Masixole Saba, who goes by the name of Simunye Mkutukane, went on Twitter recently to ask stations uMhlobo Wenene FM and Ukhozi FM why they were not playing Zahara’s music.

But the singer said she did not concern herself with airplay.

“I travel a lot. I hardly find time to listen to radio and I honestly did not know that my music wasn’t played by some stations.

“The Zahara Army guys took it upon themselves to ask and I told them not to involve me,” she said.

Nevertheless, the singer recently hosted about 20 fans at her house in Johannesburg for a week to thank them for their support.

Catch Zahara performing at the Buyel’Ekhaya Pan African Festival on December 17 at the Buffalo Park Cricket Stadium.

Tickets for the show cost R200 and are available from Computicket. — poliswap@dispatch.co.za

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