Platinum jazz singer inspires Inanda pupils

2011-11-12 00:00

PUPILS at J.G. Zuma High in Inanda erupted yesterday as singing sensation Zahara (25) walked into their school hall.

The jazz singer and guitarist addressed the high school yesterday afternoon with some wisdom about the music industry, her own personal journey and had a message of encouragement to young people.

“Today I am here not because of me,” she told the pupils.

“It is because of my teachers and God. My talent has been given to me by God, and what I learned at school I still carry with me today.”

Barely 19 days after hitting the stores, the East London-based singer’s debut album achieved the unthinkable, selling more than 100 000 copies, fuelled by TS Records’s carefully managed and orchestrated TV appearances and radio spots, which quickly garnered viral hype.

Her full name is Bulelwa Mkutukana, although she introduced herself as Zahara to the school pupils yesterday.

She lives with her parents, who have been married for 35 years. “There’s six of us at home and I am the fifth born.”

She continued to share stories of her upbringing, and encouraged the pupils to listen to their parents and teachers.

The workshop is part of the Arts and Culture Department’s initiative to improve the standard of arts in the province and promote responsible citizenship and good behaviour among young people.

“These artists are human,” said Wesiwe Thusi, MEC for the Arts and Culture Department in KwaZulu-Natal. “They are human just like you. Those of you following a career in music need to know and understand that.”

The MEC also encouraged the pupils to listen carefully to Zahara and other artists, as they are “ambassadors for good behaviour”.

• ryanc@witness.co.za

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