South African Music Icon Zahara, Renowned for ‘Loliwe,’ is Dead

” South African Music Icon Zahara, Renowned for ‘Loliwe,’ Passes Away”

South African music sensation Zahara, whose real name is Bulelwa Mkutukana and was famously known for the hit song ‘Loliwe,’ has sadly passed away. The multi-award-winning singer-songwriter breathed her last at a private Johannesburg hospital on Monday night, with her fiancé, Mpho Xaba, by her bedside.

Zahara had been admitted to the hospital two weeks ago due to “liver complications,” as reported by various South African media outlets. The news of her passing circulated shortly before 9 p.m.

" South African Music Icon Zahara, Renowned for 'Loliwe,' Passes Away" 
” South African Music Icon Zahara, Renowned for ‘Loliwe,’ Passes Away”

Her family is expected to release an official statement soon, and a family source mentioned, “She was with Mpho when she passed away.”

Expressing condolences, Zizi Kodwa, the South African minister of sport, arts, and culture, shared on social media: “I am very saddened by the passing of @ZaharaSA.

My deepest condolences to the Mkutukana family and the South African music industry. Government has been with the family for some time now. Zahara and her guitar made an incredible and lasting impact in South African music.”


A week before her death, Zahara’s family had confirmed her hospitalization and appreciated the support from well-wishers. The family emphasized the importance of relying on reliable information through official channels.

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Zahara, a 35-year-old songbird, had released five studio albums, with her debut album ‘Loliwe’ from 2011 achieving double platinum status. Her impressive career included 17 South African Music Awards, three Metro FM Awards, and one Nigeria Entertainment Award.

Known for her unique style, powerful vocals, and soulful recordings, Zahara became one of South Africa’s most recognized musicians over the last 12 years.

Beyond her musical achievements, she gained global recognition and featured on the BBC’s 2020 list of 100 Women. In 2021, she served as a guest judge on the seventeenth season of Idols South Africa.

Zahara, also an advocate against violence towards women in South Africa, used her platform to speak out about her own experiences. In a radio interview last year, she expressed that her music aimed not for recognition but to bring comfort to broken souls in need of healing.

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Ken Maasai

Ken Wakuraya is a seasoned Journalist with official accreditation from the Media Council of Kenya, possessing extensive expertise in covering political, Entertainment, and Human interest stories.

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