Zahara’s Umthwalo ‘My journey’ sends audience into tears

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Poet Zahara
Poet Zahara

By CLEVER ZULU – Times of Zambia

EMOTIONAL award-winning South African soul-jazz singer Zahara last Friday night put up a good show at the New Government Complex in front a sold out crowd in Lusaka.

Although the show did not live up to her previous high level concerts at the Zimbabwean Jazz Festival and in South Africa due to two blackouts, the audience still seemed to have enjoyed every bit of her performance judging by the response after the Celebrate Africa Concert.

The blackouts, which were caused by an electrical fault in the other hall, however, never bothered the singer.

Zahara took advantage of the first blackout to greet her fans, a move that proved she was still the humble girl she was before she acquired huge fame.

Backed by two radiant vocalists, the singer performed Xa BendigenaNdize and Umtwalo.

When performing Umtwalo, Zahara sent the audience into solemn mood as she broke down on stage, but remained resolute to finish the song. Some fans could not hold tears and shed some also.


means ‘My journey’ in Xhosa and talks about the singers hard life in the village where she grew up.

Loosely translated in English the song means, “My load is heavy on you, please help me. Stretch out your hand. I don’t want to be like those who gave up. I am out of time, life is rushing me. I am tripping, I want to rise. I want to run, hurry the load heavy on me.”

The show continued as the Loliwe singer continued to perform songs from her debut album and announced that she will be dropping her second collection later this year.

The second blackout came when the singer was doing the song she first performed on her dry guitar, Storm is Over by R Kelly. The blackout however, never lasted for more than five minutes. She also did cover versions of Mirriam Makeba and Brenda Fassie songs.

Her performance can be rated as good as a result of poor echo in the Government complex auditorium which never allowed for her powerful electrifying voice to fully capture the audience.

Before Zahara came on stage, Wezi, Scarlet and the magnificent Pompi were on hand to give the revellers a Zambian feel of African music.

Pompi undoubtedly was the best performer of the night among the locals, churning out perfectly songs such as Giant KillerPackagingNo rent and Mizu which featured Nathan Nyirenda on saxophone.