Zolani Mahola aka The One Who Sings.

Zolani Mahola is a South African Storyteller - she is a singer, actress and Inspiration Speaker. Born in Port Elizabeth in 1981, she studied Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town where she met musicians with whom she would later form pan-African multi-cultural supergroup Freshlyground in 2002.

17 years and 7 albums later Freshlyground has become a household name in South Africa and is one of Africa’s most acclaimed and successful bands. They have captured the heart of the continent and have claimed global recognition.

One highlight of their near two decade career was a collaboration with pop superstar Shakira with whom they recorded the official song for the FIFA World Cup in 2010; performing it at the opening and closing ceremony for a global audience of over a billion people. The band has to date opened stages for and collaborated with such artists as Stevie Wonder, BB King, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Robbie Williams, Oliver Mtukudzi and Vusi Mahlasela to name but a few.

Zolani Mahola is well loved and respected by South Africans for unifying the country through music and bridging social, racial and cultural divides through her commentary both artistically and as a thought leader. Zolani’s spheres of interest lie in elevating the sanctity of the time of childhood - this includes how children are educated and raised in society; our connection to Nature and in the power of our Chosen Story in .

As part of her solo work, Zolani has staged a tribute show to Ella Fitzgerald (2004). She is recognized for her lead role as Boniswa in the inspirational SABC drama series Tsha Tsha (2003 - 2005) and her starring role in the feature film Cold Harbour (2014). She has been a judge on the acapella show The Sing-Off (2009) and guest judge on Idols (2010) and The Voice (2016), encouraging uniqueness and a good work ethic in the contestants. She sang the lead in a new South African musical “Calling Me Home” (2017) at Joburg Theatre.

Zolani is an ambassador for:

*Zip-Zap Circus School (zip-zap.co.za) which inspires kids creatively and wholistically
*The Morris Isaacson Centre for Music in Soweto (www.micm.org.za) which develops children through music instruction as well as
*The Sea Change Project (seachangeproject.co.za) a community of scientists, storytellers, journalists and filmmakers dedicated to raising awareness of the beauty and ecological importance of South Africa's Great African Sea Forest.

Zolani is passionate about sharing her experience for the good of her community and has expanded her portfolio to include what she terms Inspiration Talks. In these talks she shares intimately about her life story, challenges and wins … encouraging others to investigate their own stories and to share them too. She believes that this sharing and listening leads to empathy and will lead to healing pain caused by division in our societies globally.

Zolani has recently recorded her debut solo material with Grammy nominated producer JB Arthur who, together with acclaimed bass player Victor Sibusiso Masondo produced Freshlyground’s biggest selling album to date. She will release her debut solo material late 2020. 

The artist staged an autobiographical play called “The One Who Sings” at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town in November 2019 to sold out and widespread appeal. Her performance earned her the coveted Fleur Du Cap Award for best actress at this years’ awards.

Zolani released an uplifting song in support of national unity and individual civil agency in collaboration with Freshlyground founder Aron Halevi and the human rights and educational NGO Shikaya on the 18th of July 2020. The song Because We Are was released in collaboration with some of South Africa’s biggest musical stars as well as unknown talent spanning decades and celebrating what it is to be resilient creative Africans. Zolani Mahola lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her beloved husband and two fabulous sons.  

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Zolani Mahola aka The One Who Sings. Zolani Mahola is a South African Storyteller – she is a singer, actress and Inspiration Speaker. Born in Port Elizabeth in 1981, she studied Theatre & Performance at the University of Cape Town where she met musicians with whom she would later form pan-African and multi-cultural supergroup Freshlyground in 2002.

Now, 17 years and 7 albums later Freshlyground has become a household name in South Africa and is one of Africa’s most acclaimed and successful bands. They have captured the heart of the continent and have claimed global recognition. One highlight of their near two decade career was a collaboration with pop superstar Shakira with whom they recorded the official song for the FIFA World Cup in 2010; performing it at the opening and closing ceremony for a global audience of over a billion people. The band has to date opened stages for and collaborated with such artists as Stevie Wonder, BB King, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Robbie Williams, Oliver Mtukudzi and Vusi Mahlasela to name but a few.

Zolani Mahola is well loved and respected by South Africans for unifying the country through music and bridging social, racial and cultural divides through her commentary both artistically and as a thought leader. Zolani’s spheres of interest lie in elevating the sanctity of the time of childhood – this includes how children are educated and raised in society; our connection to Nature and in the power of our Chosen Story.

As part of her solo work, Zolani has staged a tribute show to Ella Fitzgerald (2004). She is recognized for her lead role as Boniswa in the inspirational SABC drama series Tsha Tsha (2003 – 2005) and her starring role in the feature film Cold Harbour (2014). She has been a judge on the acapella show The Sing-Off (2009) and guest judge on Idols (2010) and The Voice (2016), encouraging uniqueness and a good work ethic in the contestants. She sang the lead in a new South African musical “Calling Me Home” (2017) at Joburg Theatre.

Zolani is an ambassador for:

Zip-Zap Circus School which aims to inspire kids creatively and wholistically. 

(www.zip-zap.co.za

The Morris Isaacson Centre for Music in Soweto which help develop children through music instruction.

(www.micm.org.za

The Sea Change Project, a community of scientists, storytellers, journalists and filmmakers dedicated to raising awareness of the beauty and ecological importance of South Africa’s Great African Sea Forest.

(www.seachangeproject.co.za

Zolani is passionate about sharing her experience for the good of her community and has expanded her portfolio to include what she terms Inspiration Talks. In these talks she shares intimately about her life story, challenges and wins, encouraging all others to investigate their own stories and to share them too. She believes that this sharing and listening leads to empathy and will lead to healing pain caused by division in our societies globally.

Zolani has recently recorded her debut solo material with Grammy nominated producer JB Arthur who, together with acclaimed bass player Victor Masondo produced Freshlyground’s biggest selling album to date. She will release her debut solo material late 2020.

The artist staged an autobiographical play called “The One Who Sings” at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town in November 2019 to sold out and widespread appeal. Her performance earned her the coveted Fleur Du Cap Award for best actress at this years’ awards.

Zolani released an uplifting song in support of national unity and individual civil agency in collaboration with Freshlyground founder Aron Halevi and the human rights and educational NGO Shikaya on the 18th of July 2020. The song Because We Are was released in collaboration with some of South Africa’s biggest musical stars as well as unknown talent spanning decades and celebrating what it is to be resilient creative Africans. Zolani Mahola lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her beloved husband and two fabulous sons.

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