Zahara Cause of Death: The Life and Legacy of a South African Music Icon

Zahara Cause of Death
Zahara Cause of Death

Zahara, a South African singer-songwriter who rose to prominence with her debut album Loliwe in 2011, died at the age of 36 on December 11, 2023. She had been battling liver disease for a very long time, which is what ultimately led to her death. The article will examine her life, career, and legacy.

Early Life and Career

Zahara was born on November 9, 1987, in East London, Eastern Cape, as Bulelwa Mkutukana. She grew up in a disadvantaged home and began singing in her school choir at the age of six.

Her brother also taught her how to play the guitar. When she was 18, she relocated to Johannesburg and joined a gang named Crossovah.

She also had a solo career as an Afro-soul singer, singing in both her native language, Xhosa, and English. TK Nciza, co-owner of TS Records, discovered her and signed her to his label in 2010.

Her debut album, Loliwe, was released in 2011 and sold over 100,000 copies in 19 days, making her the second-fastest-selling artist in South Africa after Brenda Fassie. Eight South African Music Awards were also given to the record, including Record of the Year and Best Female Artist.

She then released three additional albums, Phendula (2013), Country Girl (2015), and Mgodi (2017), all of which were commercial and critical successes. She has also collaborated with Mzwakhe Mbuli, Robbie Malinga, and Kirk Whalum.

She was noted for her strong voice, passionate songs, and motivational themes. She was also a philanthropist, supporting issues such as education, women’s empowerment, and anti-poverty efforts.

Personal Life and Struggles

Zahara was married to radio DJ Amaza Ntshanga, whom she met in 2011. They ended their relationship in 2016 after Zahara accused him of cheating on her. She then dated businessman Ian Sibiya, whom she also accused of infidelity.

She later married Dr. Nyameka Goniwe, a medical practitioner, in 2019, but they divorced in 2020. Zahara also battled alcoholism, despair, and financial difficulties. She admitted that she began drinking heavily following her break-up with Ntshanga because she felt lonely and deceived.

She also alleged that her record label abused and exploited her, owing her millions of rands in royalties. She filed a lawsuit against TS Records in 2019 and won the case in 2020. She also left the label to join Warner Music.

Zahara also had health problems, such as liver illness, which she blamed on her alcoholism. She said she was diagnosed with the disease in 2018 and had to have surgery. She also stated that she had stopped drinking and was on medicine. She also sought spiritual guidance and converted to Christianity.

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Death and Tributes

Zahara died on December 11, 2023, in a Johannesburg hospital where she had been confined for a week. Her manager, Oyama Dyosiba, confirmed her death and stated that she had long suffered from liver disease. He also requested privacy and consideration for her family and friends.

Her death stunned and devastated her followers and peers, who took to social media to express their sympathies and pay their respects.

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