Zahara has audience singing in the rain

She belted out her sing-along standard “Loliwe” as the heavens were rent asunder before her manager disclosed the songbird’s plans to collaborate with a local artist. TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO was there.

South African songbird, Bulelwa Mkutukana, who is better known as Zahara, is planning to organise a solo show in Botswana, the artist’s manager Oyama Dyosiba has told Time Out.
The guitar strumming singer had the headline slot at the Mascom Live Sessions at BotswanaCraft in Gaborone last Friday. She and local sensation Amantle Brown were paired for yet another edition of the popular Mascom Live series. Amantle Brown started the proceedings as revellers were filing in, belting out her well known songs like Black Mampatile and Sa Pelo.

Zahara appeared on stage at around 22:00hrs when the heavens were beginning to rend asunder, but no rain was going to end the show for the extraodinary songstress and her audience alike. As a matter of fact, Bengiwango got revellers on their feet regardless of the rain.

As it poured, Zahara embraced her audience with her rousing Xhosa ballad, Loliwe, and the audience sang along with the songbird for the love carol that has achieved the status of a standard. Songs like Phendula and eMali also got the crowd screaming with such joy that Zahara might as well have been performing in her native South Africa, proving the adage that music is a universal language. The artist was not available for an interview after her performance but the audience stayed on in the rain, perhaps dealing with an early onset of de javu.

“She’s had a conversation with Oliver Groth (BotswanaCraft manager) about organising a solo show in Botswana,” her manager Dyosiba said. “She wants to do much bigger things in Botswana. She is also planning to work with an artist here because she recognises the talent in this country.”

It was not the first time that Zahara was bringing up the rear at the Mascom Live Sessions, having done so in 2015 and 2017.