Bulelwa Mkutukana, better known by her stage name Zahara, a multi-award-winning musician, has tragically passed away. Zahara, renowned for her hit song “Loliwe”, died at a private hospital in Johannesburg on Monday night. Her fiancé, Mpho Xaba, was present at her bedside during her final moments.
Zahara had been admitted to the hospital two weeks prior due to complications with her liver. An individual close to Zahara, speaking to Sunday World, revealed that the beloved singer passed away shortly before 9pm.
The family is expected to release an official statement soon. It was reported that Mpho was with Zahara when she passed away.
Oyama Dyosiba, a family spokesperson and Zahara’s cousin, expressed his difficulty in reaching Mpho on Monday night. Despite being in Cape Town and receiving calls from all over, he was unable to get in touch with Mpho.
Zizi Kodwa, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, expressed his deep sadness over Zahara’s passing on social media. He extended his deepest condolences to the Mkutukana family and the South African music industry, acknowledging Zahara’s significant and lasting impact on South African music with her guitar.
A week prior to her passing, the family had confirmed that Zahara had been hospitalised. They expressed their gratitude for the support and compassion shown towards the ailing musician, following reports that Zahara had been rushed to the hospital due to her liver complications.
In a statement, the family addressed the spread of misleading information on the internet regarding Zahara’s health. They emphasized that any credible information about Zahara’s health would be communicated through her official social media platforms or by Zahara herself.
Zahara’s family from East London had also arrived in Johannesburg to support Xaba. Initially, Zahara was admitted to a medical ward, but her condition worsened, leading to her transfer to the ICU section of the private hospital.
In the last week, Zahara’s condition deteriorated further, and she was reportedly unresponsive.
Hit albums and awards
Zahara’s illustrious career included the release of five successful studio albums, from her double platinum debut “Loliwe” (2011) to “Nqaba Yam” (2021), which peaked at number 1 on iTunes. She was the recipient of 17 South African Music Awards, three Metro FM Awards, and one Nigeria Entertainment Award.
The story has been updated to include Minister Kodwa’s official comment on Zahara’s passing.