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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

She Defines Soul.Substance.Style (No. 018): Zaki Ibrahim

Written By: Nani Hapa—Singer Zaki Ibrahim is a soul in bloom who is creating a soulful sound steeped in poetry and earnest emotion. Born to a South African father who was an anti-apartheid political activist involved in community broadcast radio and a Scottish-English mother who taught English as a second language, Zaki has been as much shaped by the diversity of her Apartheid-era hometown and household as she has by her time spent in Canada (where she now based). "[G]oing back and forth as a child, [between South Africa and Canada,] I got to see a lot of the differences in things like education quality and people's attitude towards it. On one side in South Africa people are struggling to go to school while there were a lot of riots, and then coming to North America later on in high school people are skipping school and the attitude is completely different. Just being able to observe that was an experience. It shaped the way I see the world in general, in interesting ways that come out in my art and in my poetry."

Beyond reflecting her upbringing in her music, Zaki has also involved herself in many projects aimed at achieving social change. This has recently culminated in her co-founding the Universal Magnetic, a project working to manifest her words: "I realise that the amount of ground possible to cover in a lifetime too often depends on money. I pray that the good guys get rich and stay on the ground ... where true beauty lives…” To find out who this woman of Soul.Substance.Style is, listen to her music by visiting

(Photo Credits: Che Kothari)