South Africa: Full Circle With 'The One Who Sings'... and Writes and Heals


In 2010, Zolani Mahola performed with Shakira at the opening ceremony of the Fifa World Cup, the eyes of South Africa, a broken country longing for healing, focused on the pint-sized powerhouse. But the singer's energy and joyfulness belied a lifetime of pain carried inside.

Zolani Mahola, the lead singer of Freshlyground, our home-grown superstar, has come full circle and is sharing her own journey to healing in her one-woman show, The One Who Sings (from the Xhosa Lo Uculayo), which has just completed its first short run at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.

In barely more than an hour, Mahola tells of what broke her heart and tore her apart and takes the audience on a journey of healing as she makes herself whole again.

For the most part, time passes quickly, with life-changing moments, years, decades even, represented by a few lines, a poem, a song, a shawl, a skirt. But time also freezes sometimes as it takes a minute or two to have our worst fears confirmed.

The One Who Sings is the story of a family living in a bubble of love until that bubble is burst by the gravest of losses. It is the...

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