Marah Louw is a renowned artist and actor, whose voice resonated with the people of South Africa during the apartheid regime. Her songs were a beacon of hope and kindness during a time of darkness. Her influence extended beyond her own persona, making her a symbol of resilience and strength in Africa.
Name: Marah Teboho Louw
Date of Birth: 17 July 1952
Occupation: Actress, Musician, Author
Place of Birth: Mzimhlophe, Soweto
Parents: Trueblue Mabasotho Louw (Mother), Simanda Binca (Father)
Siblings: Siphokazi Zokwana (Half-sister)
Children: Moratuoa Louw
Spouse: Bill Thomson (Ex-Husband)
Net Worth: $700,000
Marah was born in 1952 under the belief that her grandparents, Mokgethi Benjamin Louw and Charlotte Macindi Louw, were her parents. However, she later discovered that her biological mother was her sister, Trueblue Mabasotho Louw. This revelation came about because she was born out of wedlock, and to avoid any societal shame, her grandparents raised her as their own. This family secret was kept even after her mother’s death in 1976.
Marah only discovered the truth when she was 44. Attempts to contact her father, a respected member of the Eastern Cape community, were met with silence. Despite this, Marah has forgiven him and hopes to hear his side of the story one day.
Marah’s musical journey began at the tender age of 10 with the Imilonji Kantu choir. In 1973, she joined Caiphus Semenya’s musical group, Meropa, and toured globally, including a performance in Japan. She had the honor of singing for the Queen at a Royal Command Performance in 1975. Following this, she embarked on a solo career, even performing at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela and Freedom Day celebrations in Pretoria.
In 2001, she orchestrated the music concert Surf, featuring legendary artists like Hugh Masekela. Marah also translated the music of The Lion King into Zulu for Walt Disney Corp and performed the iconic “Circle of Life” in Zulu.
Some of her notable songs include:
- Jerusalem Ikhaya Lam
- Mortal Le Pula
- Ha Kelestshe – Kele Mobe
- Mphe Maleme Ase Kete – Vuthelani Ixilongo
- Kese Ke Utloile
- Hee! Ba Nyoriloeng
- Bawo Ndingu Mntwana Wakho
- Ingoma Ka Ntsikana among others
- Take Me to the River
- 50 50 make 100%
- Amahlathi Aphelile
Marah has had a prolific career in television. She played a lead role in Muvhango and was a permanent judge on the Idols series until 2010, when she left the show after an on-air incident. During this period, she also hosted a cooking show named “Mara Louw and Friends.”
She ventured into comedy with the sitcom Skwizas, then moved on to Tempy Pushas, where she played Girlie for three seasons. In 2016, she starred in The Queen, but her exit from the show was rather abrupt.
Mara Louw Biography, Blocklisting
Marah has been quoted in quite a few interviews saying that the Fergusons blocklisted her from the industry. She says that “Since I spoke out, I have been blocklisted. I have not worked since 2017. It’s a cruel industry. A few producers have told me that they would love to work with me, but they have been told that I am impossible to work with and complain about money.” Another producer told her that he wanted to work with her, but he was told not to.
Marah is estimated at being worth about $700 000. Most of her earnings come from her album sales, concerts and Television shows.
Marah got married in 1986 to Scottish businessperson Bill Thomson. However, they divorced in 2004 due to differences they could not reconcile. They had one child together, Moratuwa Louw. Then, commenting on how the husband could just come up with such an unfounded excuse, she said, “That is a bit strange. I don’t know how you can stop loving somebody, especially after so many years. I am unfortunate, but Satan has taken over. It is so ugly that we are not even talking to each other.”
In early 2017 her daughter’s boyfriend was shot and killed in a hijacking right in front of Marah’s house. The incident happened in Soweto, and the young man was rushed to hospital, where he later died. The incident left the entire family traumatized and in mourning.
Marah Louw Biography, Muti Scandal
Two beer bottles were found in front of Marah’s gate filled with what looked like muti. Following the suspicious discovery, Marah’s neighbours managed to find the young woman who was allegedly behind the muti. However, the woman was troubled and had recently lost her brother to suicide, which led her to delusions, and Marah sympathized with her. She rallied behind the woman and her family to try and help her get the aid she needed to be better.
The incident did, however, traumatize her to the point where she was afraid even to drive. Marah claims they caught the culprit as she was smearing black liquid on the gate. The person allegedly claimed her dead brother had appeared to her in a dream and told her to spread the gate.
In 2013 she revealed that her name had been misspelt since the early days of her career. She said in 1971, her manager omitted the ‘he’s at the end of her name, and she overlooked that, which has caused problems in her life. “Throughout my life, I’ve had problems, especially with family asking me why my name changed.” She said the name, which was given to her by her grandmother, is actually from a Bible verse which states, “when they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter…” Marah said that her family was in the process of correcting her name through a traditional ceremony. The album Marah Worship, released in 2011, was also part of the correction process.