Hugh Masekela. Picture: Mike Blake/ Reuters
Hugh Masekela. Picture: Mike Blake/ Reuters

4 SA celebs who lost the battle against cancer

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Nov 8, 2019

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Cancer affects many people's lives. While some have managed to beat it, not everyone is fortunate to have a happy ever after. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 16 percent of people die of cancer. Men are most affected by lung, liver, stomach, colorectal, and prostate cancer, while women are most affected by breast, lung, colorectal, cervical, and stomach cancer. 

Between 30 and 50 percent of cancer types are preventable by avoiding, amongst others, tobacco products.

There are a number of South African celebrities have had to fight cancer but lost the battle.

Hugh Masekela

The legendary musician lost his battle to prostate cancer in 2018.  The jazz veteran had been fighting prostate cancer since 2008. 

Koyo Bala

Koyo Bala was first diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and died in 2016.  The gay socialite was determined to beat the cancer and go back to making music but lost the battle before he could release another album.

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My new look .u like ?

A post shared by Koyo Bala (@koyo_bala) on

Ray Phiri 

At the age of 70, the legendary producer,  jazz, fusion and mbaqanga musician succumbed to lung cancer.

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Forever in our hearts ❤️ #RIPRayPhiri

A post shared by Ray Phiri (@ray_phiri_) on

Xolani Gwala

The 44-year-old died on Friday after battling colon cancer for two years.  The radio veteran announced in 2017 that he would be off-air as he fought the disease. He returned to the airwaves in August last year for a short time but lost the battle last week.

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