South Africa’s Latest Pop Sensation - Zahara

Fellows Fall 2011

By Alex Gallafent

November 10, 2011

Also aired on BBC/PRI's "The World"

A 23-year-old singer-songwriter from a small village in South Africa is taking that country's music scene by storm. Her name is Zahara, and her album, Loliwe ("˜train' in the Xhosa language) has sold like wildfire since its release a few weeks back.

The World's Alex Gallafent profiles Zahara in her new home, Johannesburg, as she reflects on a meteoric rise that has taken everyone by surprise, not least herself.

And she tells the story of how she recently performed a private concert for one of her heroes: Nelson Mandela.

Alex Gallafent is a correspondent for BBC/PRI's The World. He reported from South Africa on a Fellowship from the International Reporting Project (IRP).