Tributes pour in for late star musician Zahara

Tributes continue to pour in for multi-award winning musician Bulelwa ‘Zahara’ Mkutukana who passed away at a private hospital on Monday evening.

Mkutukana was 35 years old.

The musician was reportedly admitted in hospital with liver complications two weeks ago.

Following the news of her passing media personalities – including Black Coffee, Lady Zamar, Yaya Mavundla and Jennifer Su – took to their social media accounts to send their heartfelt condolences for the singer.

You’ll always shine bright

The news of her passing was not yet confirmed by her family on Tuesday morning, however, Minister in Sports, Arts and Culture department Zizi Kodwa confirmed the news saying his department was with the family throughout her hospital stay.

“I am very saddened by the passing of @ZaharaSA. My deepest condolences to the Mkutukana family and the South African music industry.

“Government has been with the family for some time now. Zahara and her guitar made an incredible and lasting impact in South African music,” shared Kodwa.

Su said: “Rest in peace, Zahara. It seemed like yesterday when you released ‘Loliwe’ in 2011 and you became a superstar. You’ll always shine bright in our hearts and your voice will live in our hearts forever.”

Zahara’s music was brave

Singer Lady Zamar added: “Zahara did a lot for the music industry in South Africa…paved the way for so many others with her icon presence and guitar in hand💔💔she will be missed.  I never knew her personally but her music was loud and brave #ripzahara praying for her family 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 she was loved.”

Internationally acclaimed deejay Black Coffee posted a picture of the singer and captioned it: “You healed so many souls🙏🏿❤.”

Reality television star and fashionista Yaya Mavundla added that: “I’m remembering our crazy nights, our stupid fights, how she would ask me “Yaya do you sing? Can you sing? So shut up” and we would laugh.

“Our time at Emperors Palace was so special! At her home! At Quiteria’s, in Mpumalanga, everywhere we went! So special! #RIPZahara,”

Mkutukana passed away at a private Johannesburg Hospital on Monday night.  Her fiancé Mpho Xaba was by her bedside.

A source close to the muso told Sunday World that the singer passed away just before 9pm.

“The family will release a statement soon. She was with Mpho when she passed away,” the source added.

Mkutukana family spokesperson and Zahara’s cousin Oyama Dyosiba said he was struggling to locate Xaba on Monday night.

“I am getting calls from everywhere. I am in Cape Town and doing my best to get hold of Mpho. I can’t get hold of him,” he added.

A week ago, the family confirmed that Zahara was hospitalised for a week.

They thanked those supporting them and expressing compassion for the then ailing musician. This after reports the singer was rushed to hospital due to “liver complications”.

The statement read: “Unfortunately, even though our daughter’s hospitalisation has been of strict confidentiality within our family and close friends, that hasn’t stopped the spread of disingenuous information on the internet. We want to stress that any reliable information regarding Zahara’s health will be communicated via her official social media platforms or by herself.”

The singer’s family from East London also arrived in Joburg to be by the singer’s fiancé, Xaba’s, side.

She was admitted to a medical ward but her condition became worse and she was transferred to the ICU section of the private hospital.

Mkutukana released her first studio album in 2011, called Loliwe, which went double platinum. The album was followed up with her second album Phendula which released two years later.

She is also one of the country’s most decorated artists with 17 SAMA awards, three Metro FM awards and a Nigeria Entertainment award.

Trade union federation also chipped in, #COSATU also conveyed its “heartfelt condolences to the family of Afro pop singer and award winning songwriter Bulelwa #Zahara Mkutukana, her relatives, colleagues in the creative arts fraternity and millions of global citizens. May her soul rest in peace #HambaKahleZahara“.

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