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Zahara biography: Full name, Songs, Albums, Alcohol Addiction, Cause of Death

-This Zahara biography takes a dive into the artiste whose death on December 11 threw the world into mourning

-We look into the late musician’s battle with alcoholism, accolades, controversies, and more

Zahara is no doubt one of the most revered voices in South Africa and the entire world.

Zahara’s music is appreciated by people across Africa and the entire world, even though she sang in English and her native Xhosa.


Zahara biography. Source: Instagram

Zahara biography summary

Full name: Bulelwa Mkutukana

Stage name: Zahara

Date of birth: November 9, 1988

Occupation: Musician, songwriter

Birthplace: East London

Nationality: South African

Years active: 2011 to 2023

Zahara Instagram: @zaharasa


Source: Instagram

What is Zahara’s real name?

Her real name is Bulelwa Mkutukana.

Where was Zahara born?

The Loliwe hitmaker was born in Phumlani. This is an informal settlement located just outside of the Eastern Cape’s East London region on November 9, 1988.

This means Zahara was 35 years old at the time of his death.


Zahara looking elegant. Source: Instagram

Family background

Her parents’ names are Nokhaya and Mlamli Mkutukana. She is the sixth child among a total of seven.

Sadly, Mbuyiseli, the seventh child, was killed in East London in 2014.

Zahara began showcasing her singing ability at the age of 6.

She was allowed to join the senior church choir at the age of nine since they thought her voice was good enough for the role.

Speaking about her guitar prowess, Zahara revealed in an interview that a Scottish missionary took her sister to music school.

The sister returned with a guitar, which Zahara used to teach herself to play. She has been writing songs about her life since she was 12.


Source: Instagram


Zahara started as a street performer in East London before she was noticed and subsequently signed by TS Records.

Zahara albums

2011 saw the release of her debut album, Loliwe. The album achieved enormous success in the marketplace and among critics.

The Loliwe album attained gold certification after 13 days, platinum certification after 17 days, and double platinum certification after 19 days.

In 2012, she won eight South African Music Awards (SAMA), including Best Female Artist and Album of the Year. Of all the tracks by Zahara, the title track, Loliwe, is the most popular.

Ndiza and Zahara Umthwalo are also featured on the album.

Her next project was a live DVD titled The Beginning Live, which went platinum in one day.


Source: Instagram

Her 2013 album, Phendula, went double platinum in just two weeks of release.

The Nelson Mandela EP followed Zahara Phendula in 2013 after the former president requested to visit her before he died. She dedicated it to his honour.

Country Girl was released in 2015. It is the project in which Zahara Inameva is included.

It was her first project following her brother’s mother. She refuted the tabloid reports that claimed she was broke and an alcoholic.

2016 saw her sign with Warner Music South Africa after leaving TS Records.

The extreme public attention she received from the nation’s tabloids and the label change served as inspiration for the release of Mgodi, which is Xhosa for “hole,” the following year.

Zahara Mgodi achieved enormous success.

who was zahara

Source: Instagram


The major accolades Zahara has won so far include:

Her outstanding collection of awards includes one Nigeria Entertainment Award, three Metro FM Awards, and 17 South African Music Awards.

Zahara’s impact extended beyond her musical achievements, garnering her a place on the BBC’s 2020 list of 100 women due to her widespread effect.

In 2021, she was also a guest judge for Idols South Africa’s seventeenth season.

How many kids does Zahara have?

She did not have any children at the time of her death.


Source: Instagram

Zahara husband

Zahara was previously in a romantic relationship with Ian Sibiya. In 2019, the pair marked their second anniversary, but ultimately called it quits.

At the time, she revealed that she wanted to be in a relationship with a pastor.

What is Zahara’s net worth?

Zahara’s net worth at the time of her death was unknown.

However, her estimated net worth ranges from $500,000 to $3 million. This is based on her musical collection, projected sales, performance on major streaming platforms, and assets.

She had financial difficulties in the past, particularly with regard to her ZAR2 million mansion’s mortgage.


Source: Instagram


Zahara suffered from liver damage as a result of her years-long battle with alcoholism.

After years of denials, she finally admitted to being an alcoholic in 2019.

She claimed, “I was frustrated, so I drank a little to find happiness.

“It wasn’t that I “needed it or that I was addicted to it,” she said in a later radio appearance.


Source: Instagram

Zahara death

The 35-year-old artiste died at a private hospital in Johannesburg on the night of Monday, December 11 2023.

She passed away from liver failure.

South Africa’s Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture, Zizi Kodwa broke the news of Zahara’s death on X.

Kodwa described Zahara as an incredible artist who made a lasting mark in South African music.

“I am very saddened by the passing of @ZaharaSA. My deepest condolences to the Mkutukana family and the South African music industry.

The government has been with the family for some time now. Zahara and her guitar made an incredible and lasting impact in South African music,” Kodwa wrote on X.

READ ALSO: Zahara: Renowned South African Musician Dead at 35

This Zahara biography is a testament that Zahara’s contributions to the African music industry will make a lasting impression.

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