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Friday, January 29, 2021


(Sibongile Khumalo)

South Africa has lost a true musical legend with the death of world-celebrated and awarded singer, Sibongile Khumalo, who has died at the age of 63 after what has been described as a “lengthy period of illness”.

Khumalo was completely at ease with a wide range from music from opera and jazz to traditional South African music. She was acknowledged with the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music in 1993. Other awards include four South African Music Awards and three FNB Vita Awards.


Bongani Tembe, CEO and Artistic Director of the Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestras, pays tribute:

“The South African music world has lost a rare talent. Sibongile Khumalo excelled in both jazz, traditional and western classical music. She performed a number of times with distinction with both the Johannesburg and KZN Philharmonic Orchestras.

As a singer myself, I had the privilege of performing side by side on stage with her a number of times and indeed she was so gifted and inimitable. Our deepest sympathies to her family and may her soul rest in peace.

Bongani Tembe, on behalf of the Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestras



Durban jazz impresario Ramoll Bugwandeen sends this message to Khumbalo’s daughter, Ayanda.

Hi, Ayanda, my sincere condolences to the family. It is with great pain in the heart we hear of the passing away of your mum. May the Lord grant the family strength to cope during these difficult times.

It certainly was a pleasure knowing and working with your mum for well over 25 years. She is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s great jazz divas and history stands as testimony with regard to what can be termed as relevant South African music and culture with tunes like Untold Story, Ngibizwe.Little Girl, U Fa Kae Thula Mama and many more.

Go well, Sibongile Khumalo, you are our most revered lady of song. We will miss you, rest in peace,Mama. May the lord shower you with his ceaseless mercy.

Jazz impresario Ramoll Bugwandeen, Moon Hotel, Durban.


To see a You Tube video of Sibongile Khumalo performing at the Market Theatre visit