Zolani Mahola & The Feminine Force


Zolani Mahola aka The One Who Sings

Former lead singer of the critically acclaimed pan-African supergroup Freshlyground, Zolani Mahola is The One Who Sings.

The band was together for 17 years and produced 6 albums and most famously collaborated with Shakira on the song “Waka Waka” in 2010 and is known for uniting audiences across the world across boundaries of race, age or gender.

In 2019, she officially announced the launch of her solo career as a musician, storyteller and public speaker.

In her own words: “Our world is changing. The old stories have worn thin. We are telling new stories now. We are creating new realities: ones which inspire and give us true power.”

In her work with Freshlyground, Mahola has shared and opened stages for greats such as Stevie Wonder, Hugh Masekela, Shakira, Johnny Clegg, BB King and many others.

The beginning of 2020 saw her collaborate with Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma and October 2020 saw her share a bill with legendary musician Dave Matthews. She also released the anthemic and patriotic song “Because We Are” with long-time collaborator Aron Ha’Levi. The song saw the feature of over 30 artists across the South African music scene, including legends and popular artists such as Yvonne Chaka Chaka, J Something, Karen Zoid, Amanda Black, Vusi Mahlasela, Arno Carstens, Francois Van Coke to name only a few.

Mahola won the prestigious Fleur Du Cap award as “Best Actress” for her 2019 self-written critically acclaimed one woman play based on her life entitled “The One Who Sings. November 2020 saw her stage the multimedia work “You Need To Say It” at the Baxter theatre in Cape Town. The show included elements from Mahola’s debut solo album entitled “Thetha Mama” (http://Platoon.lnk.to/thetha-mama) which was released in November of 2021.

The album won best produced album this August at the South African Music awards and The One Who Sings is currently working on a follow up album and three upcoming film projects for release late 2023 and 2024 respectively.

The Feminine Force is a roving band of femme musicians led by the pint-sized powerhouse that is The One Who Sings AKA Zolani Mahola.

the #FF is an African and universal concept. It’s a distilling of the ancient force of women dancing and singing in trance long into the night and the modern medicine woman remembering her roots and the lonely woman finding her way back to feeling safe with other women, finding her voice in the strength of the song of her sisters.

The band is a space for femmes to gather and sing. The space is generous, the space is kind and there is lots of laughter. It’s currently tension-free and I want to do my best to keep it like that.

I want to explore the power of the full range of the feminine voice expressed. The shades of it, the emotions of it… the anger of it, the...


ZACape Town, South Africa
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Josh Georgiou

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