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South African Jazz legend Sibongile Khumalo has died

Jazz veteran Sibongile Khumalo has died at the age of 63, sources close to the situation confirmed on Thursday evening.

The family of the iconic jazz singer on Thursday evening confirmed that she died of stroke-related complications.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr Sibongile Khumalo, our iconic, world-celebrated South African singer, affectionately known as Ma’Mngoma (September 24  1957 — January 28 2021).

“She will be missed by all who had the privilege of experiencing her music, her friendship and her love. Dr Khumalo succumbed to stroke-related complications after a lengthy period of illness. The family is grateful for the support and prayers during this time,”  the statement said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday night he was deeply saddened by the passing of the performer, and extended his  condolences to the family, friends and associates of Dr Khumalo in SA and internationally.

“This is a moment of great sadness for all of us who were mesmerised and moved by the power, sensuality and improvisation of Sibongile Khumalo’s unique voice. Not only was she an unmistakable voice on concert stages around our country and the world, but she was a voice of advocacy for the performing arts, for the rights and place of women in our society, and for human rights at large.

“As a music academic, she was also a voice of instruction and inspiration to new generations of artists who had the privilege of learning from a performer who was at the pinnacle of her career. We will miss her greatly.”

World-celebrated singer had a devoted following in SA. Before her illustrious discography and accolades, the Soweto-born star started out as a music teacher.

Her hits including Mayihlome and Thula Mama became household names, and her songs took her to the top of the radio charts. She was also known for her award-winning opera and concert work.

She performed for distinguished audiences at events such as late president Nelson Mandela’s 75th birthday. She lead the New Zealand and SA national anthems at the historic 1995 World Cup rugby final.

Khumalo was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in silver  by the presidency for her “excellent contribution to the development of SA art and culture in the musical fields of jazz and opera”.


Source: Business Day

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