SA star Zahara sings in Kigali, conquers hearts

South African singer Zahara known for the song ‘Loliwe’ performed in Kigali on Friday evening at Kigali Jazz Junction and left her audience mesmerised.

Asked to described Zahara’s performance at Friday’s Jazz Junction, Jacky Kalisa, one of her fans told Saturday Times that it was arguably the most passionate and emotional concert she has ever attended.

“There are no better words to describe her performance rather than saying; she came to Rwanda. She sang. She conquered our hearts again,” Kalisa said.

Zahara, born Bulelwa Mkutukana, was expected to pull off a unique performance but not as powerful and emotional as it was.

Prior to the show, Zahara, 29 (turning 30 in November) had appealed to the Rwandans as “the most humble star alive” according to the onlookers. And judging by that, most people expected her to be as humble on stage as she is in real life…Then “Zahara The Perfomer” came on the stage.

The Story Teller”—as she rightly puts it—stepped on Stage Three Minutes Past 11 Pm and the story changed!

Zahara’s stage had been set “a blaze” by electric performances from Neptunes Band and renowned local Afro beat singer Social Mula.

While Neptunes has become household name among live music lovers in Kigali Social Mula has also become a star with his romantic single hits like Kundunduro, Humura, Amahitamo and some dancehall tunes like Umuturanyi and Superstar—which he performed last night.

After came on stage the Star of the Night. Clad in Umukyenyero blended with a Xhosa-dress-like attire and ballerina shoes; there was a sense that Zahara was up to something special.

“I wanted to represent Rwanda in my dress code tonight,” She said.

For two good hours, Zahara never looked as someone who was about to throw in a towel. Well, not until some revellers started walking out to the bathroom; thanks to the countless rounds of “Mutzig moments”.

According to Zahara’s Story; she is a village girl; a country girl who grew up in a typical poor African family in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. But through her performance you will see a humble “Achiever”, like she continuously says.

“I love Zahara so much and last night she made me love her even more…making it in life she didn't forget all about that as we all saw how she is so down to earth and her performance was so real.” Kalisa continues to describe her Idol.

She added, “You could see it’s not just music or singing but a story she is trying to tell. Her vocals left us speechless. She reminded me of our Late Whitney. She sings with so much passion and emotions. Well I could even write a book but her performance was really amazing.”

From Incwad'encane, Umsebenzi Wam', Thembalam', Ndiza to the last song the audience sang and danced along. Performing to a crowd that barely understands a word in Xhosa, Zahara’s mother language from which she pens most of her songs, it is right to say Music is indeed a universal language.

And when she was about to perform the popular Loliwe Song, a surprise was presented to her and to those who filled Serena Kigali’s big tent -a gift from one of her diehard fans.

“I was told that there a group of Karaoke lovers who sing Loliwe week in week out. May I please ask them to join me on stage?” Zahara called them on.

The renowned Kigali Karaoke star Carol Nderitu known by her performance name, Carol-Ok came on stage with her “army”. One came with a wrapped basket which she presented to The South African Afro-Soul maestro. The song started playing and tears flooded the stage and slowly sweeping through the audience.

The Phendula came…. She cried again as she sang.

“I am glad I visited Kigali Genocide memorial before the performance. Now I know why I wrote this song Phendula. African needs Answers to our problem,” emotional Zahara said.

By 1:10 am Zahara waved goodbye to the standing ovation from the satisfied audience.

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