Mzansi Celebs

PICS: Inside Zahara’s memorial service

Zahara‘s father Mlamli Mkutukana couldn’t hold back his tears during the memorial service for his daughter.

Joy and sadness filled the East London International Convention Centre (ICC) in the Eastern Cape where a memorial service for the late Bulelwa “Zahara” Mkutuka was held on Friday, 22 December.

Artists from the Eastern Cape comforted Zahara’s family with harmonious music.


The pain was visible in the eyes of the Loliwe hitmaker’s parents and family.

The musician died on Monday. 11 December after being in hospital for about a month.

The multi-award-winning singer was also remembered at Rhema Bible Church in Randburg, Joburg, on Thursday, 14 December.


Zahara released five albums, including her debut album Loliwe from 2011, which went double platinum. Her music inspired cultural pride and contributed to the promotion and development of the indigenous Xhosa language.

Association of Independent Record Companies (AIRC) representative Stanley Khoza said: “I see no difference between Zahara and Brenda Fassie. She was the most talented of them all and at the beginning of her career she surprised the whole country.


“Zahara became an instant superstar with a single song, which many artists do not achieve until their fifth or seventh album. Apart from becoming a superstar, she also surprised her record label. With the success of her album, which went platinum in 11 days, she became an icon,” he said.
He said Zahara became a flower of Africa, not just an artist from the Eastern Cape. Zahara had a special gift, she was a passionate worshipper, and she expressed all of that through her guitar.

“The music industry has not only lost a musical icon, but we’ve also lost a source of motivation,” Khoza said.


Acting Buffalo City Mayor Yomelela Tyali said: “As Buffalo City, we are committed to naming one of our centres after her as part of our recreational programmes in the city.

“We are doing this because we believe Zahara deserves a legacy. Her life was important not only to the people of this city, but to people across the country. Her family, her friends, there was nothing wrong with the way Zahara lived her life; she was a human being, and in the end, she made mistakes, as we all do.


Zahara’s friend, Nomvuselelo Grey Speliti, said: “As friends of Bulelwa, we are struggling to comprehend her death. We grew up together, she was so humble and down to earth.”

“We have lost a humble person who was not a celebrity to us. When she was around, we did not feel like she was a famous person. She treated us like her family because my father and her father were friends,” she said.


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Big Zulu

His hit Mali Eningi remains one of the country’s most-played hip-hop songs. Despite having such a massive profile, Big Zulu loved to spend time in the countryside. A few weeks ago, he was back home training for his boxing match, running in the mountains. Read More

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