The news of his death shocked the hip-hop fraternity and his fans, who said they had been waiting for him to release some of his new music.
His death was confirmed by his family, who released a media statement during the early hours of Women’s Day to say that the Soweto hit-maker had died after suffering a severe seizure.
Mkhize was visiting friends on Wednesday night when it happened. Paramedics responded to a call, but could not revive him.
Mkhize, 37, is survived by his mother Fikile Mkhize, father Zwelakhe Kheswa, wife Ayanda, and young daughter, Nonkanyezi.
The family have requested privacy as they mourn their loss and will release details of his funeral at a later stage, their statement says.
Many fans expressed their shock at his death. Others shared their favourite moments with the humble rapper, who was known for his “killer hip-hop rhymes” at hip-hop- emcee battles.
“As we mourn the passing of this distinguished son of the soil, we must consider our country fortunate to have produced and witnessed this extraordinary youthful talent, which contributed immensely to the development of the hip-hop genre,” the ANC said.
DJ Fresh dedicated parts of his morning show on Metro FM, playing some of ProKid’s hits, although he dropped the “Kid” from his name some years back.
The rapper was described as a humble soul, who was a leader in the game of hip-hop.
Mkhize released six albums, with his Heads and Tales album still being recognised as one of the biggest in kasi hip-hop.
Mkhize also co-presented SABC1’s Jika Majika with Thembi Seete.
He also started his own brand under his popular tagline, “Dankie San”.
Mkhize worked under several labels including TS Records, Gallo and Universal Music.
He was last signed to Mabala Noise and spoke of releasing new singles in order to get back into the action of things.
Mkhize is behind hits like Ungaphel’ Umoya San, Wozobona, Uthini Ngo Pro, Bhampa and Sekele, among many others.
Yesterday Sipho Sithole, who gave Mkhize his break at Gallo Music, described ProKid as an “authentic rapper”.
“He was the most authentic to come out of the townships
“He made hip hop popular in the township.
“He made it authentic and real kasi,” Sithole said.
“He refused to follow the trend of twanging in the American tradition of rap,” he added.
Sithole pointed out that ProKid had told the real stories of eKasi.
“One could not imagine that he would perish just like that in the most tragic manner,” Sithole said.
“His kind of music was about hope and aspirations,” he pointed out, adding that his brand of hip-hop was about the flight of youth from poverty while seeking a better life.
“It’s always about the youth saying they want to move to a better world.
“And people tend to dance to the beat, rather than really listen to the actual music,” he added.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa sent his condolences to the lyrical genius’s family.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of a lyrical genius, pioneering hip-hop artist Linda Mkhize,” the minister said in his statement yesterday.
“ProKid took rapping in African languages to great heights.
“And he will go down as one of the greatest and most influential hip-hop artists of his generation.”
ProVerb, who had one of the best battles with ProKid, wished Mkhize a safe passage to heaven.
“You were indeed a pioneer, a legend and one incredible emcee.
“For the record, I never considered you a ProKid, but rather a ProKing!”
Rapper Maggs said the news was “heartbreaking”.
“A dark day lost a brother, a friend and a kindred spirit today, brutally heartbreaking. RIP ProKid.”
Cassper Nyovest also sent his condolences to the rapper’s family members.
“Rest in peace to the greatest to ever do it
“You gave us a voice. Your genius was well received at your prime.
“But we failed to preserve and appreciate your legacy while you were still with us.
“It took your passing to remind me how much of an inspiration you were to me. #RipPro #Legend.”
Bonang Matheba shared a post of her and ProKid on the cover of YMag in the early 2000s when the radio station celebrated them for being youth icons.
“He was always so kind and sincere
“Linda, just like that? We lost an icon today.
“My deepest condolences to ProKid’s family, friends and fans.
“May he rest in peace. Thank you for the music.”
The hashtag #RIPProKid had people reminiscing about their favourite homeboy, who performed at Basha Uhuru in June at Constitution Hill.
The official account for the iconic venue tweeted: “Rest in peace #ProKid, what a great performance you delivered at Basha Uhuru.
“How you waved at the crowd when you finished performing you went backstage and returned to wave some more saying your goodbyes to your fans.
“You were a true gift to the hip-hop world.”