Zahara serenades Madiba in Qunu

30 November 2011 - 02:18 By ANDILE NDLOVU

Eastern Cape singing sensation Zahara can now list a private performance for former president Nelson Mandela at his homestead in Qunu as another feather in her growing cap.

A video posted on YouTube by her record label TS Records shows the teary 24-year-old singing her song Thekwana to a frail Madiba, who sat next to a window with a newspaper and a blanket covering his legs.

Thekwana sees Zahara pay tribute to struggle stalwarts including Madiba himself, Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Steve Biko, Helen Joseph, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Richard Mahabane, Walter Sisulu, Chris Hani and Lilian Ngoyi.

When she finishes, Zahara can be seen breaking down crying as Madiba claps, and a few family members urge her to sing her runaway smash hit Loliwe.

It is unclear what Madiba was referring to when he told Zahara: "You must take that with you . "

Later yesterday the video was removed from YouTube.

In another video recorded for Public Radio International, Zahara again performs the two songs, explaining: "I just got a couple of songs that I want to share with you that I sang for Tata Mandela. I hope you enjoy them."

This past weekend Zahara scooped three Metro FM Awards, including the coveted Song of the Year for Loliwe.

TS Records co-owner Thembinkosi "TK" Nciza - who was present at the occasion earlier this month - said the muso had been approached by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to serenade Madiba because she was "relevant".

He said yesterday: "It was a special moment for her. As young as she is, to have got such an opportunity is amazing. This is the highlight of her career. I explained long before we released her album that we had a vision and a dream for her and this is the biggest highlight so far."

He said Zahara had single-handedly "revived" the local music industry. Loliwe has sold 310000 copies so far and is easily this year's biggest seller.

Mandla Mandela and Madiba's assistant Zelda la Grange were also at the Qunu performance.