Zola makes a comeback with a new reality show this month. It premieres on e.tv on Sunday, 25 September at 18h30.
The raw unscripted reality show chronicles the life of the charismatic Bonginkosi “Zola” Dlamini and captures his personal quest to unearth new talent.
As an artist who has enjoyed an illustrious career as a kwaito musician, Zola has experienced both the highs and lows of the industry, so his real life experience will provide context to the series.
The 13 part docu-reality series captures Zola’s journey from his tough childhood in Soweto to his career as an entertainer as well as his tour throughout South Africa as he goes on a mission to locate 6 talented South African musos.
Through it all, Zola will face his past, flaws and future head-on, giving viewers a glimpse into his larger-than-life persona.
The show reveals the real, raw journeys of ordinary South Africans struggling to get their voices heard and uses Zola’s background story to demonstrate that not all is rosy in the entertainment industry.
He tours South Africa looking for six individuals that sing, rap or perform all sorts of music genres. The standard requirement is that they perform in their indigenous language or play a traditional instrument.
The top 6 aspiring musos will then collaborate to form a band. The process is very emotional and insightful; the performers often have to pull out all the stops to demonstrate that they can compete in the tough South African music industry.
Rolling with Zola is as much of a journey for Zola himself as it is for these new artists. His real story about the ups and downs of being famous provide a solid foundation for educating the young up and coming musos about the dynamics of the music industry, which aren’t often highlighted when the fame dream is sold to them.
The series will open the viewer’s eyes to Zola’s true character giving the viewer free access to Zola’s life. Everything the viewer may have thought s/he knows about Zola will be turned upside down. Zola serves as a mentor and imparts knowledge to the young, often guiding them to make life changing decisions. In the process, Zola faces his innermost demons and reveals his true self to the nation.
Zola says: “There is tremendous talent in South Africa waiting to be unearthed, people who are naturally passionate about music and do not care about occupying a space in the spotlight.
“The sad reality is that the more people start being aware about you as an artist, the more they become interested in who you really are, behind that performer’s mask. Most of the young up and coming musos need to prepare for the fact that with living their dreams, certain challenges will come.
“I have learnt the hard way that the temptation to delude yourself and your fans is great but one needs to remain true to themselves despite the challenges. That determination, coupled with the creative dynamism, is what any aspiring artist should never let go of.”
The 6 individuals discovered on the show will record songs with Zola.