East London songbird Zahara wows crowds and local celebs

LAST weekend it was Miss Lira, this weekend it was Zahara, and we have to tell you, personally, that we really rate our local gal Zahara.
The East London songbird may not be as famous (yet) as the bootylicious Lira but we reckon Zahara is THE next big thang on the South African music scene. She so deserves those Sama nominations.
I mean, both her shows in Port Elizabeth this past weekend were sold out – every second person at the Nangoza Jebe gig on Saturday night seemed to have her hit single Loliwe as their  ringtone – and the Boardwalk was simply heaving with fans, including quite a sprinkling of local celebs.
Skinnerbek spotted  mayor Zanoxolo Wayile grooving to Zahara’s guitar-strumming vibe, along with our tourism head  Mandlakazi Skefile,  Putco and Bongi Mafani  and that ever- so-musical  family headed by Khusta and Karen Jack.
The mayor and Khusta just could not resist singing along and dancing to Thekwana, which Zahara wrote about South African  struggle heroes like Helen Joseph and Nelson Mandela.
The Jacks were also at Lira’s show the weekend before so they don’t just support their own kids but also South African  music in general. Actually, their kids are becoming big names themselves and as part of the New Afroteens they will be rocking the Opera House stage on Friday night for our very own Herald Citizen of the Year awards (tickets at Computicket, it’ll be a great show, don’t miss it!).
Saturday night was a tough call for entertainment as Vinette Ebrahims – Charmaine in  7de Laan – was here for My Naam is Ellen Pakkies at the Opera House. Wow, what a moving story!
Pakkies, you may remember, was that downtrodden mother who killed her Tic-addict son who used to steal from her. It was a big story in the papers at the time, and makes a strong drama. We just wished the play could have had a longer run  and  maybe been taken out to be performed a couple of times in our northern areas.
Luckily, the script was so good there also were a couple of laughs as well. Gotta take life’s hard knocks with a spoonful of humour!
October being breast cancer awareness month means heaps of ladylike events to raise funds and awareness.  5FM presenter Anele Mdoda was in town last week to MC one of the city’s biggest events, Michelle Brown’s annual breast cancer awareness dinner.
Anele looked just fabulous in a flowing teal-blue dress, gorgeous colour-block heels and her cell- phone had a pink cover to match the theme of breast cancer awareness.  We also saw our former The Herald Greenacres Miss Port Elizabeth Chuma Myoli there – love the nifty new braids, Chuma, you are styling!
Skinnerbek doesn’t just party in Port Elizabeth, we also like to check out what’s hot and happening further afield. We spotted Sean van Eck, former head of  tourism here in the Bay, and his beautiful wife Bev, on his new tourism turf in Knysna for the opening of a new restaurant at Pezula.
Award-winning chef Geoffrey Murray has opened a more relaxed version of his famous restaurant Zachary’s, called Cafe Z, at Pezula Resort Hotel and Spa. What a fabulous setting, and with champagne flowing and oysters served as delicious nibbles to a discerning slice of high society, truly a five-star affair. You can read more about Cafe Z in Leisure on Friday, when this creative American shares his kitchen secrets with The Herald readers.
This weekend, no Zahara or Lira, but we’ll be having a mighty fine time with quite a variety of home-grown talent at the Opera House. Your gossip gal also can’t wait to see funny-man Riaad Moosa in the flesh when he MC’s The Herald Citizen of the Year on Friday night.

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