SA singer Sibongile Khumalo, 63, dies after 'lengthy period of illness'

Sibongile Khumalo. (Photo: Gallo Images)
Sibongile Khumalo. (Photo: Gallo Images)

Celebrated South African singer Dr Sibongile Khumalo has died. The news of her death broke online on Thursday, 28 January. 

Born in Soweto in 1957, the world-celebrated singer was 63 years old.

According to a statement released by Sibongile's family she "succumbed to stroke related complications" following a "lengthy period of illness". 

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr Sibongile Khumalo our iconic, world-celebrated South African singer, affectionately known as Ma’Mngoma (24 September 1957 – 28 January 2021)," the statement read.

The family added: "She will be missed by all who had the privilege of experiencing her music, her friendship and her love. The family is grateful for the support and prayers during this time." 

PHOTOS | Remembering SA's First Lady of Song, Sibongile Khumalo

Known for her love of traditional South African music, jazz, and opera, Sibongile thrilled audiences from Roodepoort to the Royal Albert Hall in London. 

According to a biography on on the presidency's official website, Sibongile performed with many celebrated groups and artists and has graced many an honoured occasion, including former President Nelson Mandela’s 75th birthday and 1994 inauguration. She also led the South African and New Zealand national anthems at the World Cup rugby final in 1995.

Social media was flooded with messages of condolences from friends and fans. "Ms Khumalo’s warmth and generosity of spirit were matched only by the immense talent she demonstrated and the glorious voice that lifted our national spirits on so many occasions," the Steve Biko Foundation said in an online statement.

The news of the singer's death comes just a short few days after South Africa loss another music icon, Jonas Gwangwa.

ALSO READ | 5 songs to remember Mam’ Sibongile Khumalo by

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