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There will be light at the end of the tunnel” is a reoccurring subject and text for Zahara’s most honest and intimate album yet.

Multiple SAMA Award-winning singer Zahara launched her long-awaited 12-track album on Friday (13th of August). The record was already at number one on iTunes within hours of its release. The album takes a candid look into the songwriter’s triumphs and difficulties and contains a combination of conventional Afro-pop melodies and kwaito influences.

Nqaba Yam is the second release from the singer’s album which precedes Nyamezela, which was produced in May. The album is a succession to her previously released album Mgodi, which went gold within a day of its launch.

In an excerpt from an upcoming interview with Music In Africa, Zahara said: “‘Nqaba Yami’ means ‘endure’. It’s like a pillar or rock that you hold on to when there is turmoil around you … I have been through a lot in the past years. I don’t write to make hits, I write about my life story. I am a poet and I turn all things that happen around me into songs.”

The songs were arranged and recorded with long-time producer Mojalefa ‘Mjakes’ Thebe. The 12-track album features beautiful melodies that are relaxing and therapeutic, as well as introspective lyrics. Zahara’s incredible guitar abilities can be heard throughout the album, just as they are on all of her other songs. The album opens with a powerful tune called Nqaba Yam. The song is one of the album’s most powerful ballads that hits people right in the soul.

Zahara – Nqaba Yami

According to her interview with Apple Music, Zahara claimed that Sinda Mphefumelo was her favourite song from the album until her sister died in March of this year. “Sinda Mphefumlo is all about ‘You can take anything away from me, my clothes and everything, and leave me naked, you can put me to the ground, but as long as the Lord or whoever is I Nqaba yam—my anchor—will preserve my soul.”

After touring the United States and Canada with Kirk Whalum, Zahara feels her star is only beginning to grow. Zahara was selected one of the BBC 100 Women 2020, a list honouring inspiring women from around the world. She is South Africa’s most awarded artist, having won over 30 prizes in total. Her aim, she says, is to “inspire via music.” Loliwe, her debut album, was certified double platinum 17 days after its release, selling over 100,000 copies and earning her eight South African Music Awards (SAMAs). She presently has over 400,000 album sales and 370,000 Instagram followers.


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