Drum – 22 August 2019

(Jacob Rumans) #1

http://www.drum.co.za 22 AUGUST (^2019) | 9
whereI aminmylife’
We’re catching up with Lira at The
Munro Boutique Hotel in Houghton,
60th birthday celebrations.
It’s not often you can sing the lyrics
“I’m a Barbie girl” and mean it but Lira
certainly can. With her signature short
natural ’do and delicious dark skin, the
doll is a dead ringer for the stylish singer.
Lira Barbie is one of 50 dolls created by
T’Sa recognitionthatcouldn’thave
comeata bettertime.Hadshenot
makinga differenceinpeople’slives.To
thinkI wasonceinsecureaboutmy
friends,forhavinga big,toothysmileand
ngingapakanga (for having no curves).”
But being the first African woman to
be immortalised by Barbie is bittersweet,
she admits, because of her separation.
Lira has lived most of her life in the
public eye and steadfastly cultivated a
squeaky-clean image, steering clear of
any controversy or scandal.
“I’ve worked so hard to be where I am
today,” she says, shedding a tear.
“Everything I have done has come
froma placeoflove and being truly and

received after announcing her separa-
tion. “Robin and I are currently living
apart and are in the process of deciding
the future of our marriage,” Lira wrote
on social media. “We have had a long
and fruitful marriage and business rela-
tionship and have formed a strong bond
that will remain, whatever the outcome
of our time apart.”
Fans were quick to flood her social
media pages with messages of strength
and even people
she’s met face-to-
face have been sen-
sitive to her situa-
“I am so blessed to be where I am in
my life today and to have support from
people from all walks of life,” she says.
“Things are far from perfect, but I am
She’s looking forward to what the
future holds. “Change always excites me.
I feel lighter. I am starting afresh and
cleaning up. I feel bolder and fearless. It’s
a newfeeling that I had forgotten I had.
ng of being renewed. I’m not fight-
th life, I am flowing with it.
truly in a happy place. I feel light-
ewed, with a level of freshness.”
HE’S feeling so good she’s
started writing music again.
“All of my songs have been
me being vulnerable. I am
not afraid of letting people
learn from my experiences,”
ys. “But I’m not sure when I’ll be
Afrosoul music has always
ed self-love.
rning to love yourself is a lesson
rnt from her mom, Buyi Molapo.
n the Daveyton-born singer grad-
from the Vaal University of Tech-
after completing her accounting
s, her mom was there to cheer her
job to pursue music, Buyi stood by Lira’s
“My mom is my biggest supporter,” she
says. “She spent money sending me to
university and when I realised after two
years of working that’s not what I wanted
to do, she gave me a chance to quit my
job and pursue my dream of singing.
“My mom would lend me her car for
gigs. When I lost my income, she’d give
me only R100 a
month because she
wanted me to feel
the consequences of
having a dream. I
commend her for that.
“With that discipline, my mom birthed
a fighter in me.”
It was while she was on a trip with her
mom that she decided to take stock of
her life. Lira and Buyi (62) went skydiving
in Namibia recently, where she had the
opportunity for some introspection.
“That trip helped me to make serious
decisions in my life,” she shares.
Buyi, a former banking insurance
developer, has always inspired Lira and
encouraged her to do what makes her
“After my mom retired, she
became a wellness champion. She jogs
every morning and is a true inspiration
of the kind of parent I would want to be
o n e d a y .”
She doesn’t have children of her own,
but Lira loves the kids in her life as if
they are her own.
“I’m a parent to lots of children in my
life. I’m a godmother and an extended
aunt to many kids, and I am in no rush
to have any children of my own,” she says.
“I’m comfortable with working on my
purpose which is to inspire others, make
beautiful healing music andtotruly
represent the African childandshow
them their dreams are valid.”
Lira’s Barbie lookalike was launched at
an event in Joburg. She’s the first African
woman to get a doll in her likeness.

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