Musician Sibongile Khumalo has died Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Musician Sibongile Khumalo has died Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Tributes pour in for SA songbird, Sibongile Khumalo

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jan 28, 2021

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DURBAN - Tributes have been pouring in on social media following the death of South African legendary songbird, Dr Sibongile Khumalo.

According to a statement on behalf of the family, Khumalo succumbed to stroke-related complications after a lengthy period of illness.

Khumalo began her musical journey at the tender age of 8, and was launched into the limelight when she won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award at the Grahamstown Arts Festival in 1993.

Her illustrious career saw her release several critically acclaimed and award-winning albums and graced a variety of prestigious events both locally and internationally.

The First Lady of Song as termed by Nelson Mandela was a celebrated and multi-award winning musician.

Throughout her career she was awarded many accolades including The Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) bestowed on her by President Thabo Mbeki. Through her music, she has always reflected the richness of her culture, wisdom, and warmth of her family, her community, and her continent.

According to The College Music Society, her most notable performances were: The 3 Faces of Sibongile Khumalo (Kippies, Johannesburg 1992); Sibongile Khumalo in Concert (Grahamstown Festival, Market Theatre - Johannesburg, and Baxter Theatre - Cape Town 1993); performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Johannesburg and Cape Town 1994 and 1995); the Brahms Alto Rhapsody (Johannesburg City Hall 1994 and Durban City Hall 1996); Sisters in Sync with Aviva Pelham (Civic Theatre - Johannesburg and Grahamstown Festival 1994); Rhythms of Africa with the National Symphony Orchestra (Sun City, Durban and Johannesburg 1994); Handel's Messiah with Lord Yehudi Menuhin (Cape Town and Johannesburg 1995); Sibongile Khumalo and Friends (Johannesburg 1995).

Her career highlights include performing at Nelson Mandela’s 75th birthday as well as at the historic 1995 World Cup Rugby final.

Hundreds took to social media following confirmation of Khumalo’s death.

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