South Africa

‘You healed our souls’ – SA mourns the death of musician Zahara

Multi-award winning musician Bulelwa “Zahara” Mkutukana has died.

Her death was announced by Sports, Arts and Culture minister Zizi Kodwa late on Monday evening.

“I am very saddened by the passing of Zahara. My deepest condolences to the Mkutukana family and the South African music industry.”

ALSO READ: Zahara admitted to hospital for a week with ‘physical pains’ amid ICU reports

Zahara won hearts with her 2011 double-platinum selling debut album Loliwe. She went on to win several awards. In 2012, she won eight South African Music Awards, including for “Best Female Artist” and “Album of the Year”.

The star was recently hospitalised, with reports of her being admitted into ICU, and Kodwa said government had been assisting the family “for some time now”.

“Zahara and her guitar made an incredible and lasting impact in South African music,” he added.


Last month, Zahara’s family told The Citizen she was admitted to hospital following complaints about physical pain. They were hopeful of her recovery and that she would be home by the end of the week.

ALSO READ: Zahara claps back at haters after performing at an EFF event

“The doctors are working diligently, and we await further updates from them… In the meantime, we are asking for privacy on this matter and your continued prayers for the speedy recovery of our beloved Zahara,” the family later added in a statement.

A life of rumours

Zahara made the headlines for her private life as much as for her music.

Constant reports of alcoholism, debt, and music label battles followed her, but she kept singing.

She was remembered on social media for her music and the impact it had on people’s lives.