SA songbird Busi Mhlongo dies at 62

2010-06-16 09:42

Busi Mhlongo, who has died

at the age of 62, was working on new material shortly before breast cancer

stripped her of her life.

Mhlongo,

who died yesterday, was working on two traditional Zulu songs with renowned

Iscathamiya group Ladysmith Black Mambazo in December last year.

The songs, Nomkhubulwane

and Amagugu, are yet to be completed.

The intrumentals still

need to be added to the mix.

According to Mhlongo’s

long-time family friend and the executor of her estate, Neil Comfort, releasing

the songs “is not a priority and will happen in due course”.

Her last performance was

in November last year at the Zulu Jazz Lounge in Durban.

Mhlongo was first

diagnosed with breast cancer in 1978. She was in remission until the cancer

resurfaced in 2005.

Comfort said: “In the past

year, she became very sick. She had undergone a mastectomy in 2006, but the

cancer continued to spread.

For the past few months,

she could not get treatment, only palliative care because the cancer had spread

too far.”

Asked what he would

remember about her, Comfort, who at the time of publication was yet to tell his

two daughters that they had lost a woman who had been a “gogo” to them, said

Mhlongo was the reason he worked in the music industry.

“She has inspired a whole

generation of artists,” he added.

Busi Mhlongo was the widow

of Early Mabuza, the brother of Felicia Mabuza-Suttle.

Mabuza died in the 1960s.

Mhlongo leaves behind her only daughter, Nompumelelo Black.



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