It’s been a long time coming, but gospel singer Zanele “Zaza” Mokhethi is finally ready to claim her rightful place as one of South Africa’s most powerful praise musicians.
In March this year, the leading vocalist unleashed her impressive musical talents as a solo artist, when she released the single Awusibaleli under her own label Zahza Holdings. It has since spent weeks as Number One on Hope FM, was Top 10 on Rainbow FM, received extensive airplay on Ukhozi FM, and has been branded a favourite by T’bo Touch on Metro FM among other accolades.
Zaza has finally stepped out of the shadows!
But it’s the upcoming recording of her live DVD in September that has her thrilled to the core. And it’s about time! It’s taken the gospel powerhouse many years of false starts to get to where she is, and she couldn’t be prouder of finally achieving this milestone. “It’s been a long and hard road. There have been glorious ups but many more shattering downs on this journey. But through my unwavering belief in the Higher Power and God’s plan for me, I can finally say that I am where I’m supposed to be at this stage of my life and career,” says Zaza.
Hers is a story that is not unfamiliar in the local music industry: a young girl from an impoverished background, a voice unleashed in church where many take refuge from everyday hardships, being recognised and picked up by leading praise ensemble Joyous Celebration, and finally getting a music contract of her own. But just like many of these stories that promise a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Zaza’s own illusions about the music industry were shattered as she consistently suffered systematic abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to nurture her talent and polish the rough diamond to its most glittering shine.
Says Zaza: “I’ve learned a lot in the years I have been in this industry. The biggest lesson has been that not everyone has your best interest at heart, and that not every good deed goes without punishment. This is why I decided that, with God’s grace and the help of some good people, I should stand on my own two feet and fight for what I believe in.”
Her own maltreatment by powerful record label executives have also inspired Zaza to start mentoring young talented girls who want to break into the industry. She believes it is her duty to not only nurture them vocally, but to guide them through the minefield that is the business of music. “I’m a nurturer at heart; a mother who wants to give love, warmth and guidance. That is why Zahza Holdings is more than just a record label, but a home and a safe space for talented young women,” she says.
Zaza already has a protégé she has been mentoring and will reveal in all her glory at the recording of her (Zaza’s) live DVD recording at the Soweto Theatre in September. Zaza also plans to showcase a new progressive and forward-thinking type of gospel music when she hits the stage for the recording. “People are thirsty for something new and fresh in the gospel industry. It’s all good and well to have well-known hymns that people can sing along to, but that is only preaching to the choir. I want to keep the gospel music faithful close, but I also want to draw in a new kind of crowd that can grow this industry and its fan base to a new level. We need to evolve and show that we, as gospel singers, are also able to embrace new styles and fans,” preaches Zaza.
Watch out world, the new Zaza – a strong, confident businesswoman and music executive – is coming for you! Keep your eyes peeled!
Social media handles:
Facebook: Zaza mokhethi
Instagram: Zaza Mokhethi
For more information and media inquiries, please contact:
NAME: Lebo Mokhethi
NUMBER: 079 413 1054