AFRO-JAZZ singer Lira Molapo had to give up a career-boosting performance at a four-day event that will culminate in the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Junior memorial to honour Nelson Mandela.
Lira was asked to perform at the event on August 25TH in the run-up to Monday’s unveiling of the memorial in Washington DC while on tour in the US last month, but she was already booked for the launch of the global clothing range, 46664 Apparel.
This forms part of Mandela’s multi-faceted 46664 campaign.
Lira said the performance would have been the best platform to launch her international career as she would have performed with legends such as Aretha Franklin and Bebe Wynans.
“It was a clash of cons but I had to go with Madiba. I could have asked to be released from the 46664 event and forfeited the deposit, but I did not want to favour an international icon above our very own Madiba,” she said.
Lira, 32, will be in Port Elizabeth in October as part of her month-long Captured Tour, during which she will shoot her second DVD.
“I’m going to spend less time in South Africa. So I’m touring to see all my SA fans before I disappear for a while,” she said.
Lira will return to the US again in February.
“It was great seeing Americans coming specifically to see me perform. A lot of them could identify with my music. So the place is ripe with opportunity,” she added.
Lira, whose latest album Return to Love went gold within two months, has also taken to acting. She has just finished filming her first movie, The Italian Consul, in Italy. The movie will hit our shores once it has completed its rounds at international film festivals.
“The movie was one of my biggest highlights. I was the only African there and was a paparazzi favourite as a result,” she laughed.
Looking to do more, she received three movie scripts to consider, but could only pursue one as the others clashed with her tour.
She considers herself “one lucky girl” to be working alongside her producer husband, Robin Kohl.
“He’s my best friend. We work and play together,” she said.