When she's not touring the world or belting out a song at a local music festival, singer Karen Zoid is sampling Joburg's many delights.
ROCK chick Karen Zoid loves living in Joburg because there is "always something going on". "There is so much energy around you, people are focused, driven and ambitious." Although she was born in Brussels, Zoid grew up in Joburg, so she knows the city well. She was a teenage busker in Melville, singing and playing guitar for coins.
In 2001, she released her first album, Poles Apart, which received several SABC TV2 awards. It made an immediate impression, so much so that her followers were renamed the Zoid Generation. SA Rock Digest and SAfm radio voted Poles Apart album of the year; one of its songs, Set of Wheels, was voted song of the year.
Two years later she released her second album, Chasing the Sun. Both albums have reached gold record status. "In 2004 Time magazine and US News & World Report highlighted her role as an icon," reads Zoid's website.
Her third album, Media, was released in 2005. In that year she also played at Nelson Mandela's 46664 concert with, among others, Queen and Annie Lennox.
A number of honours have come her way: in 2002, she was a nominee in the Shoprite-Checkers Woman of the Year competition; in 2003, she was named by Independent Newspapers as one of the top 100 people in South Africa, while the Sunday Times named her among the top six rising stars of South Africa. In the same year Rapport newspaper listed her as one of the country's top 10 famous people.
Zoid tours on average twice a year to England, Dubai, Canada or the US, as well as at home, where she headlines major festivals. She is known for her songwriting as well as her singing, appealing to the English and Afrikaans markets.
She feels that Joburgers work hard and, because of this, the city is the "best place to be". The SABC, M-Net and all the major media companies are here and their influence "seeps through to the rest of the country".
In her leisure time Zoid soaks up the city by visiting the Oriental Plaza in Fordsburg, where she buys fabric and clothes; by enjoying Joburg's trees; by eating its many restaurants; and by playing volleyball at the Rose Garden at Emmarentia Dam.