South African music icon Zahara dies aged 36

Award-winning South African singer and songwriter Bulelwa Mkutukana, 36, known by her stage name Zahara has passed on.

The “Loliwe” hitmaker was admitted in hospital with liver complications two weeks ago. 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.

Zizi Kodwa, the minister of sport, arts and culture, posted on X: “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,” said Kodwa.

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.

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

Last week, the singer’s situation deteriorated and she was reportedly unresponsive.

Hit albums and awards
Zahara released five hot selling studio albums, from double platinum debut Loliwe (2011) to Nqaba Yam (2021), peaked at number 1 on iTunes.

She has scooped 17 South African Music Awards in her career, plus three Metro FM Awards and one Nigeria Entertainment Awards.

Tributes to the late star have flooded social media platforms.


Leave a Reply