Khumalo died of stroke-related complications on Thursday at the age of 63.
“Not only was she an unmistakable voice on concert stages around our country and the world, but she was a voice of advocacy for the performing arts, for the rights and place of women in our society, and human rights at large.
“As a music academic, she was also a voice of instruction and inspiration to new generations of artists who had the privilege of learning from a performer who was at the pinnacle of her career. We will miss her greatly,” Ramaphosa said on his official Twitter account on Thursday night.
Political parties the EFF and the ANC also sent their condolences to the family of the musical legend and recipient of the nation’s Order of Ikhamanga in Silver, awarded by the Presidency.
“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,” the ANC said.
“Mam’Tungwa was more than a legendary figure in African music. Her ability to transcend musical genre demarcations, smoothly sliding between jazz and opera, choral, traditional and any other genre with amazing ease is what made her an epic legend of our musical platform,” the EFF said.
“She was a true artist. She raised her voice against gender-based violence and she was one of the few nonpartisan social voices on issues of importance. We will remember her as the bubbly, ever-smiling, ever-laughing mother, sister and friend of most who came across her,” the EFF added.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa praised Khumalo for her musical genius and global presence.
“Dr Sibongile Khumalo was an ambassador of our heritage. A musical genius who enchanted diverse audiences all over South Africa and beyond. She will eternally be remembered for her repertory, which was similarly eclectic.
“She was a musical maestro who made it her life’s purpose to tell the story of our people through music. She left a legacy that will forever go down the annals of history,” Mthethwa said.
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