Four months after suffering a devastating stroke while she was in Germany for a performance, award-winning singer Lerato Moipone Molapo, better known as Lira to her adoring fans, is trying to get back into the swing of things.
In an emotional throwback Instagram video, the Feel Good hitmaker was seen singing her song Return to Me with the Mzansi Youth Choir with a caption that read:
“Speech challenging, but I can still sing.”
After suffering her stroke in April, she shared an update in May in a statement that read:
“I am recovering well. Physically, I have been unaffected; I am strong and healthy. The stroke has, unfortunately, affected my speech; however, I am making lots of progress every day. I will take some time to focus on my recovery. Please keep your prayers coming; I can't wait to be back soon. All my love.”
Thankfully, Lira seems to be on the fast-track to a full recovery, and hopefully we’ll be treated to a performance from her really soon.
In honour of her throwback post, here are four times Lira made an impression:
Lira: Live at Carnival City 2009
Who would've thought the young 16-year-old starry eyed singer who signed to Arthur Mafokate’s label, 999 Music, in 2000 would give us the multi-award-winning song Feel Good in 2006? After showing her skills on the album All My love, which was released in 2003, she upped the ante by releasing Feel Good, and then in 2009 on the Carnival City stage with a glorious medley of Feel Good she proved why she had become one of the most well-regarded and respected singers in South Africa.
With beautiful vocal runs, her signature jazzy voice and some vibey crowd engagement, this performance easily tops the list as one of Lira’s most iconic performances.
Lira’s Hall of Fame performance
In 2016, Lira became a judge on The Voice SA. She stated in an interview with City Press:
“People can say whatever they want about me, but they cannot take my success away from me – and people must remember that success alone is not enough.
“I am consistent and I believe my positive attitude and great work ethic helped me to be where I am today.”
She became a mentor on the show for many years, and in 2019, with an electrifying performance alongside fellow judges, rockstar Francois van Coke, pop singer Riana Nel, and the late legend Riky Rick, who died earlier this year, she sang the song Hall of Fame by Irish rock band The Script. Quite apt for the artist who has gone on to win a whopping 11 South African Music Awards in her lifetime.
Lira becomes an amapiano artist
This one is a little bit different, but important nonetheless. Lira is continuously proving that she is a powerhouse with a phenomenal nod from the South African Music Awards for a remix that I never saw coming with amapiano hitmaker DJ Maphorisa for her song Feel Good.
The song was nominated for the Remix of the Year category and definitely got some rave reviews from both Lira's fans and amapiano fans alike. This proves that no matter the era, Lira is always going to take over.
Lira makes us feel good on Feel Good Live Sessions
Just a month before her stroke, Lira took to fellow musician JR’s (Tabure Thabo Bogopa Junior) Feel Good Live Sessions stage to give a 40-minute set.
The mind-blowing set was a perfect celebration of her long and illustrious career, and audiences also got to hear some of her most monumental songs that have helped to centre her at the forefront of South African Afro-soul and jazz music.
With a gorgeous outdoor setting, Lira took audiences on a trip with songs like Ngiyazifela and Ngiyabonga.
As a powerhouse in the industry, Lira has shaped Afro-soul and jazz music in South Africa for years to come. We wish her a full recovery.
And as Lira always says: “Feel good. Feel God.”