January 29, 2021

Sibongile Khumalo, 63, Passes Away

Award-winning musician, Dr Sibongile Khumalo, has passed away at the age of 63.

According to a statement issued by her family, Khumalo passed away on Thursday, 28 January, due to stroke-related complications following a lengthy period of illness.

Affectionately known as “Ma’Mngoma”, the songstress was born in Soweto in 1957. At the age of eight, she began her singing journey, which saw expanding her repertoire to opera, choral, musical theatre and jazz.

She gained prominence when she won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award at the Grahamstown Arts Festival in 1993.

Since then, Khumalo released several critically acclaimed albums – this included her 1997 offering, “Ancient Evenings”, which earned her two South African Music Awards.

She also “graced a variety of prestigious events”, including Nelson Mandela’s 1994 inauguration, and the Rugby World Cup final the following year.

Khumalo received honorary doctorates from Rhodes University, the University of South Africa, and the University of Zululand. Additionally, she was appointed to the Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) in 2008.

Tributes have since poured in for Khumalo, with one Twitter user writing: “You are now the lead singer in heaven’s choir.”

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