AS Zahara dealt with the tragic death of her brother in 2014 and the media scrutiny into her personal life Winnie Madikizela-Mandela called veteran musician‚ Yvonne Chaka Chaka and asked her to mentor the young muso.
Zahara told TshisaLIVE that she was in a dark space when Ma Winnie called and told her that she wanted Ma Yvonne to mentor and help her.
“It was a very hard time for me. I went to Ma Winnie’s house and just cried and cried about my brother. A lot was happening at once and she said that she would help me by getting me a mentor. I think she asked Ma Yvonne Chaka Chaka because she is not just a musician but an amazing person. She is so powerful. She is an icon. She is a queen of Africa and Ma Winnie saw that same spirit in me‚ that is why she asked her to lead me.”
Zahara said that while Ma Winnie was still alive‚ she acted as her mentor and often supported her and advised when she felt lost. She said that now in the wake of Ma Winnie’s death‚ the stalwart would have wanted her to lean on Ma Yvonne in the same way.
“Ma Winnie was more than just a hero. She paved the way for so many women. We were like mother and daughter. It was not just about the politics; it was about her as a woman. We would sit together for hours and just talk. I will miss that but I guess she made a way for me to still have that guidance through Ma Yvonne.”
Zahara revealed that she had been planning to help launch the Mandela blanket initiative‚ set for release in May‚ before Winnie’s death and said she felt like part of the Mandela family.
“Ma Winnie once told me that she wanted to introduce me to her daughter and family. She said she saw her spirit in me. Losing her and Tata (Nelson Mandela) was like losing my parents.”
The Loliwe star said she was determined to be responsible and careful with her life and career because she didn’t want to disappoint Ma Winnie.
“Ma Winnie was always there for me and I don’t want to disappoint her.”