With preparations afoot for a 21-day lockdown in South Africa, Zolani Mahola is doing her bit to keep up spirits during this time of panic and uncertainty.
Similar to what many international artists like John Legend, Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Carlton and others have done, Mahola is hosting an InstaGigs session for 30-minutes on weekdays. Fans can connect with her @zolanimahola from 6pm to 6.30pm.
In a chat with the South African artist, she said: "I find myself with more time on my hands like so many of us around the world. This has been a time of re-evaluation of the things that are important to me. Connection is one of these and sharing my gifts is another. Through these gigs online I can connect to people all over the world and share strength and hope across all boundaries."
Fans have embraced her new approach.
She revealed: "People are loving having a space of gifting. There is very little of the isolation and aloofness that at times can be a tool for social distancing between a celebrity and their fans. There is now no need for this tool. Instead there is the opportunity for engagement based on a true acknowledgment of the human need to connect one to the other."
When asked on how she is coping with self-isolation, she said: "I am coping very well with it.
" I have my moments of feeling a bit shaken about the future but I remind myself that the present is where it's at. In the present I am well, my family is with me, we have food to eat, I can make music, I can communicate with my world and I still have a long list of choices to appreciate. I lean in to all that I can be grateful for and I realise that the list is long."
On her tips for South Africans, she offered: "I think that the government has responded swiftly and with care. I would advise people to feel a sense of peace in knowing that this will pass and that it will pass quicker if we learn from the mistakes and findings of people in other countries, who have had the virus for longer.
"We need to contain the virus so that means little or no physical contact one to another. It means being really mindful of keeping our hands constantly clean. It means being mindful about our resources.
"We have been lucky in Cape Town to have had shortages and restrictions of water usage so we know how to monitor and not waste this precious resource. We know how to be mindful of our electricity usage. Now we can be mindful of how much we consume. Maybe we don’t have to have meat five times a week maybe twice will suffice. This also gives our body a break. If you have a garden its a good time to plant vegetables and become more self-sustainable. Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. Still the mind and garner access your own internal wisdom and find peace and strength there."
Take us through a day in your life at the moment?
'I wake up later - I am usually an advocate of the 5am club but now I am giving myself a break on that - and start my day with a 15-20 minute meditation to set my day on an authentic and intentional note. Then I wait for my kids to wake up, spend time connecting with them and my husband. I spend time on my music, considering what’s for lunch and dinner, I watch a bit of Netflix ("RuPaul’s Drag Race") and do some reading then I prepare for my instagram hangouts.
I have been going for a dive in the sea on a daily basis. Not sure if I will have access to this anymore but otherwise there is always yoga! This is on a good day. On a not so good day I still find ways of disconnecting from my family by being too much on my phone or on Netflix or on my email. I can indulge in compulsive behaviour with food and alcohol and go to sleep listening to podcasts all night long.
Zolani Mahola invites South Africans to her InstaGigs session.
From a psychological perspective, I asked her how she was processing this new way of life.
She responded: "I am seeing this as another step in the journey of life. Unpredictable but always a gift to us. How marvellous that we are all of us experiencing this same phenomenon and how exciting to use this time to dream an even better more connected and intentional world?"