Stars pay tribute to Zahara: 'A true South African icon'

Stars pay tribute to Zahara: 'A true South African icon'

"Your music kept me going during some of my darkest days" - Zahara's fans, peers, and friends are mourning her loss. 

Zahara sitting on a couch
Singer Zahara/ Instagram (@zaharasa)

Some of South Africa's biggest music stars are remembering Mzansi's "blooming flower" Zahara. 

Zahara, whose real name is Bulelwa Mkutukana, died on Monday, December 11. She was admitted to hospital in November. 

The 'Loliwe' hitmaker's family revealed in a health update shared on November 27 that was taken to the hospital "following complaints about physical pains". 

"We trust that she will be back on the road soon; doing what she loves, and what we all love her for: healing people through her powerful gift and love of music," the statement read. 

Shortly before her hospital admission, Zahara celebrated her 36th birthday. 

"Today I celebrate 36 years of God’s grace, mercy, and kindness. To my beautiful family, friends, fans, and the Zahara Army worldwide, ndiyabulela kakhulu for your love. You guys have supported me through the highest heights and lowest of lows. To God who called me and keeps me in perfect peace, all glory to Him. To many more years," she wrote on November 9. 

ALSO READ: Zahara celebrates reaching 20-million streams

Zahara's official cause of death has not been released, but her health issues were reportedly due to liver complications. 

Fellow musician Vusi Nova told Zimoja in an interview shared on December 7 that Zahara seemed fine before her hospitalisation. 

"We were sorting out details for a gig in Mozambique and she was looking forward to it and then this happened. There were no signs of ill health or anything. She was her usual self. Life is weird at times, you think you are okay and healthy but your body has other plans," he told Zimoja. 

Vusi revealed that he had been visiting Zahara in hospital. 

"Days are not the same. Some days she is fine, getting better and some days I leave there crying. At the moment she is not awake or speaking ... Bulelwa is very out there, bossy, vibrant, expressive. To see her in that light is frustrating for me," he said.

ALSO READ: Things are looking up for Zahara after financial woes


Local celebrities took to social media on Tuesday to honour Zahara. 

Mafikizolo's Nhlanhla Mafu wrote on Instagram: "Condolences to the Mkutukana family and all her loved ones."

Lloyd Celeb said news about Zahara's death was "shocking".

"R.I.P sisi @zaharasa. Praying for comfort and strength for her family," he wrote

Lady Zamar said Zahara's music was loud and brave. 

"Zahara did a lot for the music industry in south africa…paved the way for so many others with her icon presence and guitar in hand. She will be missed. I never knew her personally but her music was loud and brave #ripzahara praying for her family. She was loved," she wrote on X. 

Pearl Thusi also paid tribute to Zahara: "Ndiza Sisi. See you on the other side."

Minnie Dlamini revealed that Zahara reached out to her when she was going through her own drama. 

"Not only was she an incredible talent but she had a heart of gold! I remember her being one of the few people that reached out to me to check if I was ok amidst my drama. We shared a beautiful bond of sisterhood that I will forever cherish."

ALSO READ: Tributes pour in for 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' star

Here's a look at what others had to say on social media:


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Main image credit: Instagram/@zaharasa

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