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South Africa's Afro-pop sensation Zahara dies aged 36

South African singer and songwriter Zahara performs at the Cape Town International Jazz ...   -  
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RODGER BOSCH/AFP or licensors

South Africa

Renowned South African Afro-pop sensation Bulelwa Mkutukana, better known as Zahara, has passed away, the country's Culture Minister confirmed.

Zahara, acclaimed for her 2011 album "Loliwe," which resonated across Africa, had been hospitalized due to liver complications, with government support extended to her family during this challenging period, according to Minister Zizi Kodwa of Sports, Arts, and Culture.

In 2019, Zahara shared her struggle with alcohol addiction, shedding light on personal challenges. Last month, her family appealed to South Africans for prayers as she battled health issues. Zahara, aged 36, succumbed on Monday night in a Johannesburg hospital, as reported by the state-run SABC news website.

Following the announcement, social media has become a space for fans to grieve and share cherished memories. Minister Kodwa acknowledged Zahara's profound impact on South African music, stating, "Zahara and her guitar made an incredible and lasting impact in South African music."

Expressions of admiration for Zahara's musical legacy flooded X (formerly Twitter), with one user noting, "She left us with such beautiful music." Over her career, Zahara, who released five albums, garnered numerous local and international accolades.

Beyond her musical achievements, she utilized her platform to address the issue of violence against women in South Africa, drawing from her personal experience.

Zahara's departure leaves an indelible mark on the world of music, as fans and fellow artists reflect on her impactful journey.

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