"Idols SA" runner up Thami Shobede, 31, died in hospital a week after collapsing on stage.
"Idols SA" runner up Thami Shobede, 31, died in hospital a week after collapsing on stage.

'Idols SA' star Thami Shobede suffered from depression says mom

By Liam Karabo Joyce Time of article published Sep 16, 2019

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Thami Shobede was suffering from depression when he collapsed while performing on stage about a week ago and later died. 

According to his mother Mantombi Buthelezi, who told Sunday Times, he was admitted to hospital for observation last Friday because he was feeling weak, she still did not know what caused his death.

Buthelezi said, “The doctor told us he was suffering from depression. I wasn’t really surprised but I didn’t think it would lead to this. On Monday he was fine but on Thursday he gave in.”

She further told the publication that her son's sudden illness could have come from the pressure she believed he was under as the family’s sole breadwinner.

“He wasn’t a talkative child, so it was hard to tell where he was emotional. Lately, he closed himself in his room for hours. I wish he had spoken to us as his family, I wish I could comfort him. Not so long ago he sent me a message, telling me he will make me proud even though things aren’t going great. He wanted me to trust him and I did.”

Shobede, who was 31, died at Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria on Thursday, where he had been admitted after collapsing while performing on stage about a week ago.

He made a name for himself in 2017 when he came second on season 12 of "Idols SA". Although he did not win, he went on to produce an album, "Never Lost", which earned him multiple award nominations and made him a household name. 

Tributes from industry heavyweights have poured in following his death. Vusi Nova took to his Instagram saying he regretted not working with Shobede. “Going to miss our random calls, your sarcasm, your big smile and most of all just hanging out and jamming.

"You asked me to feature and do a remix of your song 'I love u' which is my favourite song by you and you kept calling asking me when we were hitting the studio to record it and I kept on procrastinating,” he said in a post. 

Shobede’s best friend and fellow musician, Lungisa Xhamela, said, “My soul is gutted! I was with you just the other day my brother. We have lost one of the greatest talents this country has ever produced.”

Mzansi Magic's head of public relations and publicity for local entertainment channels, Philly Kubheka said: "As Mzansi Magic and 'Idols SA', we are saddened by the passing of our former Idols SA contestant Thami Shobede. Thami was a very talented musician with lots still to offer to the music industry. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed."

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