South Africa mourns jazz musician Thandi Klaasen

By Khatija Nxedlana
16 January 2017

Tributes continue to pour in for the local legend.

Tributes continue to pour in for Jazz and Blues sensation Thandi Klaasen. Thandi died in a Vosloorus hospital on Sunday from pancreatic cancer. She was 86-years-old.

Known for hit Sophiatown, Thandi worked on the musical King Kong in London in the ‘60s – having started her career in the 1950s.

In 2006 she was awarded South Africa’s Order of the Baobab in Gold for excellent achievement in and contribution to the art of Music”. The order of the Baobab is a civilian national honour awarded to service to the country.

President Jacob Zuma expressed his sadness at her passing. In a statement, the President said the country has lost one of its internationally acclaimed and respected jazz musicians. “Ms Klaassen contributed to the country not only as a musician but also a social and political activist who was always outspoken about social-economic issues in the country. "We have lost one of the leading pioneers of South African jazz music and promoters of the country's cosmopolitan culture. She was a role model to many of our young and upcoming musicians and her legacy will live on for generations to come." Fellow musicians, actors and ministers all took to social media to express their condolences to Klaasen’s family and friends.

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