Zahara: Tears Flow As Sensational Pop Musician Dies at 36

BY Nii Ogbamey Tetteh December 13, 2023 8:28 PM EDT

Tributes continue to pour in for South African singer Zahara, who passed away on Monday, December 11, 2023. A memorial service will be held in her honor on Thursday.

The guitarist and singer has been an inspiration to many fans across the world who have listened to her hit record, Lilowe (The Train) released sometime in 2011.

She has played many shows across and outside South Africa and always mesmerizes her followers with her soothing voice and guitar rhythm.

Zahara is said to have suffered some liver complications and passed on surrounded by her family.

A statement announcing her death on Monday described the singer as a person of “pure light and an even purer heart in this world.”

“A beacon of hope, a gift, and a blessing to us and countless people worldwide. A legendary figure in the world of music, Zahara remarkably touched millions of people’s lives with her extraordinary gift and passion for music,” the family said.

The singer is said to have left “an indelible mark on the music industry and a legacy that will forever resonate in our hearts and souls.”

“A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. May we remember Zahara not with sorrow but with stories of healing, joy, kindness, and inspiration she brought to us through her life and her music”.

“May she rest in eternal peace, and may her melodies continue to echo in our hearts forever,” the statement read.

Zahara released five albums and won many awards locally and internationally. Born Bulelwa Mkutukana on November 9, 1987, her music was classified  as “Afro-soul.” She sang in Xhosa, her native language, as well as in English.

Her accolades include 17 South African Music Awards, three Metro FM Awards, and one Nigeria Entertainment Award.

Zahara was on the 2020 list of the BBC’s 100 Women and appeared as a guest judge on the seventeenth season of Idols South Africa in 2021.