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Zolani Mahola, The One Who Sings

Zolani Mahola, The One Who Sings
Tuesday 19 July
Zolani Mahola is a big name in the South African, and international, music scenes. The former lead singer of Freshlyground has been focusing on her solo career since the band parted ways in 2019. She has also been going by the professional name, The One Who Sings, since then.
“That is what people have been calling me for most of these two decades that I’ve been making music, you know The One Who Sings, Lowo Uculayo,” she explains. “When I would walk down the street, ‘There she is, the one who sings!’ I eventually took that name on in 2019, as my name given to me by the people.”
She is accompanied on the show by her all-women band, ‘The Feminine Force’. They perform two songs from her album ‘Thetha Mama’: ‘Ndbambe’ and ‘Li Li Li Li’. The latter of the two is an exclusive, performed for the first time.
In the spirit of Mandela Day, we asked Zolani how Mandela’s legacy has affected her. “Immensely, he is one in a list of South African’s that have really stood up and said, ‘This is not right, this is not the country that I want to live in, this is not the reality that I want’. And have actually, literally shifted reality,” says Zolani.
“For me and so many of us that have followed in his wake, it’s such a wonderful reminder on Mandela Day that all of our actions have an impact,” she adds.
We are lucky enough to celebrate the musician’s birthday with her as well!
The mother of two sons is currently working on an exciting project called ‘Rise’. “I make music and create content for children and youth. This includes the Sacred Child in us all,” she says.
“In my work day-to-day I speak to children, I speak at schools, I connect with children and youth. I’m working on a project called ‘Rise’, and there are a group of people from all over the world, from 42 countries, and we’re getting together to cocreate a song,” says Zolani.
This is a starting point for a bigger project that she that she would like to do for South Africa – to capture voices from the children of South Africa post-pandemic. “Almost like a manifesto, ‘this is what we want out of our country, our world’.”
Zolani hopes to eventually do a global children’s song, or children’s manifesto.
Follow Zolani on social media:
@zolanimahola / The One Who Sings / @one_sings

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