South Africa robbed of great talent after Zahara’s passing

Bulelwa “Zahara” Mkutukana passed away on Monday at the age of 36. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi Independent Newspapers

Bulelwa “Zahara” Mkutukana passed away on Monday at the age of 36. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 12, 2023


A “pure light, and an even purer heart” is how musician Zahara was described by her family yesterday as they announced her passing.

Taking to her official Instagram account, they confirmed Bulelwa “Zahara” Mkutukana had passed away on Monday “surrounded by family and loved ones”.

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa was one of the first to announce the award-winning singer’s passing on social media.

“I am very saddened by the passing of @ZaharaSA. My deepest condolences to the Mkutukana family and the South African music industry. The government has been with the family for some time now,” tweeted Kodwa.

“Zahara and her guitar made an incredible and lasting impact on South African music,” he said.

Paying tribute to her, her family wrote: “It is with heavy hearts and the deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved daughter, sister, and friend, Zahara... A legendary figure in the world of music, Zahara remarkably touched millions of people's lives with her extraordinary gift and passion for music. She leaves behind an indelible mark on the music industry and a legacy that will forever resonate in our hearts and souls.

“A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. May we remember Zahara not with sorrow, but with stories of healing, joy, kindness, and inspiration she brought to us through her life and her music.

“May she rest in eternal peace, and may her melodies continue to echo in our hearts forever,” the statement said.

The singer was admitted to hospital in early November after complaining about physical pain.

We’ve been robbed of a great talent,” President Cyril Ramaphosa told the media yesterday.

“She was talented. She was vibrant. She was a wonderful composer,” added the president.

The message was shared on the president’s official X account with the caption: “Zahara’s passing is unfortunate. We have been robbed of a great talent. She’s one of the best we have produced in the arts and I am deeply saddened by her passing.”

Political parties also paid tribute to Zahara.

The EFF said Zahara was never scared of associating with the party.

“Her voice brought hope that a new revolution is possible. Rest In Peace Zahara.”

The African Transformation Movement (ATM) said Zahara was an illustrious musical icon whose influence on the South African music landscape was unparalleled.

“Zahara, was not only a national treasure but a global phenomenon, garnering multiple awards for her exceptional talent and musical contributions.”

The DA conveyed its condolences to the singer’s family and friends.

“Her music touched many South Africans through her raw sincerity, storytelling and uplifting lyrics.” | Additional reporting by Mercury Reporter

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