South Africa is mourning the loss of its beloved Afro-pop singer Bulelwa Mkutukana, widely known as Zahara, as announced by the country’s Culture Minister, Zizi Kodwa. The award-winning artist passed away on Monday night in a Johannesburg hospital, where she had been receiving medical attention for reported liver complications.
Zahara rose to fame in 2011 with her critically acclaimed album “Loliwe,” which resonated not only in South Africa but across the African continent. The singer’s distinctive voice and musical prowess earned her numerous accolades, both locally and internationally. In 2020, she was honored by being named in the prestigious BBC’s 100 Women list.
Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa expressed his condolences on X (formerly Twitter), acknowledging Zahara’s significant impact on South African music. “Zahara and her guitar made an incredible and lasting impact in South African music,” he posted, reflecting the sentiments of many grieving fans.
The late singer’s battle with alcohol addiction became public in 2019, shedding light on her personal struggles. Despite facing challenges, Zahara continued to share her musical gifts with the world, releasing a total of five albums throughout her career.
Last month, Zahara’s family confirmed her hospitalization, requesting South Africans to keep the talented musician in their prayers. Her passing has left a void in the hearts of fans who have taken to social media to express their grief and share fond memories.
In a statement posted on Zahara’s Instagram account, her family described her as “a pure light, and an even purer heart, in this world. A beacon of hope, a gift, and a blessing to us and countless people around the world.”
Beyond her musical achievements, Zahara used her platform to advocate against violence towards women in South Africa, sharing her own experiences. In a poignant interview with a local radio station last year, she emphasized that her music was not just for recognition but aimed to bring comfort to broken souls in need of healing.