Bulelwa Mkutukana (born 9 November 1987), best known by her stage name Zahara, is a South African singer and 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 30 April 2012, at the annual South African Music Awards, Zahara won eight awards, including “Best Female Artist” and “Album of the Year” Zahara has also managed to get all her albums nominated for Album of the year and Female artist of the year. Also received the Best Produced Album award for her “Country Girl” album.
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”.
- Loliwe (2011)
- The Beginning Live (2012)
- Nelson Mandela (2013)
- Phendula (2013)
- Country Girl (2015)
- Mgodi (2017)