African showbiz news and entertainment

ANC says death of musician Sibongile Khumalo is a loss to the nation

South Africa’s ruling party the African National Congress (ANC) says it’s ‘deeply saddened’ by the death of legendary jazz musician Sibongile Khumalo, who died on Thursday.

The 63-year-old opera and jazz songstress succumbed to stroke related complications after a lengthy illness. News about her death was announced on her official Facebook page.

Some of her hit songs that dominated music charts for a long time include, ‘Mayihlome’ and ‘Thula Mama’.

Speaking about “Mama Sibongile”, ANC’s national spokesperson, Pule Mabe said, “Her decades long singing career has touched the hearts of thousands of fans across South Africa and beyond.

“She has performed with many celebrated groups and artists and has graced many occasions, including former president Nelson Mandela’s 75th birthday and the 1994 inauguration.

“She has also led the South Africa and New Zealand national anthems at the World Cup rugby final in 1995.”

Her contributions to the nation of South Africa did not go unnoticed as she was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in silver by the Presidency for her excellency and contribution to the development of the country’s art and culture in the musical fields of jazz and opera.

“We join the nation in paying tribute to this music legend who became a beacon of hope and who inspired many artists and individuals in our country.

“We extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends and fans. May they find solace in knowing that their loss is the nation’s loss,” said Mabe.

The Soweto born musical giant started off as a music teacher and pursued her dream of being an opera singer, which she achieved and made a mark in the industry.