“This was before I had children, a big alarm bell started to sound there. I am short and I have a very delicate bone structure, but in 2010 I got to see myself and look at myself with the whole world and I was like, ‘No, do I look like that?’ It’s a crazy thing to feel like you’ve just behaved unconsciously to the point where it takes the World Cup for me to see what I looked like,” she says.
In 2013, when she was pregnant with her first son, the façade she’d spent nearly 30 years creating began to crack. At the height of her music career she felt unworthy and unloved.
“I’d been this public figure and I was very confident, but I was living with this underlying belief that I wasn’t worthy. First I had to admit that there was a problem, it wasn’t working.
“Then it was a willingness to sit with myself. That’s actually what I’d been running away from my whole life — from stopping and sitting down and feeling, instead of picking up my phone, putting on the TV, having that glass of wine, eating that meal, whatever thing to take me away from the moment,” she says.
She is still in the healing process, and this year has been a pivotal one. In August Mahola announced that she was going solo after 17 years of fronting the Afro-fusion band Freshlyground.
Accompanied only by a pulsating djembe drum and her guitar, she opened up about the death of her mother and how she went from knowing she was deeply loved and worthy to almost overnight feeling unloved and unworthy.