Tributes are pouring in for South African jazz musician, Sibongile Khumalo after she died at the age of 63.
The news of Khumalo’s was made public on Thursday evening, with the singer succumbing to stroke related complications, her family confirmed.
“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.
“She will be missed by all who had the privilege of experiencing her music, her friendship and her love. Dr Sibongile Khumalo succumbed to stroke related complications after a lengthy period of illness.
“The family is grateful for the support and prayers during this time,” the family said in a statement.
Khumalo’s passing is yet another blow for the music industry after trombonist, composer and cultural activist Jonas Mosa Gwangwa died in Johannesburg last Saturday, 23 January 2021, aged 83.
A career spanning over 30 years
Khumalo was born in Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa to Grace and Professor Khabi Mngoma on 24th of September 1957.
She was a world-renowned jazz and opera vocalist with a career spanning over 30 years.
Khumalo began her musical journey at the tender age of eight, and was launched into the limelight when she won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award at the Grahamstown Arts Festival in 1993.
Her illustrious career saw her release several critically acclaimed and award winning albums and graced a variety of prestigious events both locally and internationally.
The First Lady of Song, as termed by Nelson Mandela, was a celebrated and multi-award winning musician.
Throughout her career she was awarded many accolades including The Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) bestowed on her by President Thabo Mbeki. Through her music, she has always reflected the richness of her culture, wisdom, and warmth of her family, her community, and her continent.
See the tributes below:
A wonderful person, my beloved friend & sister, a superb performer. So much joy & so much music & laughter. She came, made her mark and left us proud & happy. Very sad to hear she’s no more but happy she left us such joyful memories #RIPSibongileKhumalo???????????? https://t.co/WYNtTWtgyp
— Tim Modise (@TimModise) January 28, 2021
— Mzilikazi wa Afrika (@IamMzilikazi) January 28, 2021
We are saddened by the passing of the phenomenal, three-time SAMA winner and Jazz Musician, Sibongile Khumalo. We send our condolences to her family, friends, and South Africans at large. May her soul rest in eternal peace????????????
— The SA Music Awards (@TheSAMAs) January 28, 2021
A golden voice is now silent on earth. An African queen! A global icon! I have admired her since I was a child. Rest in peace Mama Sibongile Khumalo. You are now the lead singer in heaven’s choir. #RIPSibongileKhumalo pic.twitter.com/W4y3HJ93Pa
— Christo ???????????????????????? (@ChristoThurston) January 28, 2021
Her voice, contribution and artistry transcended genres, generations and continents; she earned every accolade and award that was bestowed on her.
Legend, Diva, Cultural ambassador… #RIPSibongileKhumalo 24.9.57 – 28.1.2021 pic.twitter.com/8mg8GdX4lF
— @Doreen Morris (@DoreenMorris) January 28, 2021