Kwaito star Brown Dash dies
ON THE day that South Africa was celebrating the 8th anniversary of the death of pop icon Brenda Fassie, the country lost kwaito artist Brown Dash.
Fassie died on May 9, 2005 after a drug overdose.
Yesterday, Brown Dash, real name Simphiwe Mpamile, died at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto where he was admitted on Monday.
His manager Siphiwe Sibisi said: "He just complained about not feeling well and we took him to hospital where he died."
Brown Dash has been in and out of hospital since 2010 when he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
His wife Lunga died last year in May. They had been separated for a while at the time of her death.
His friend, kwaito star Bricks yesterday visited him in hospital before he passed away.
Brown Dash hit the big time alongside then stable-mate at TS Records Mzekezeke in 2002 with a smash hit Phans'komthumzi welanga.
His DJ Cleo-produced debut album Puff 'n Pass from 2003 picked up a Sama nomination, with sophomore album Mthandazo Wabolova grabbing the "Best Kwaito Album" title in 2005.
After his third album, Dashboard, he left TS Records in 2007 amidst financial disputes, and he released the failed album Back2Kasi.
When he was at the 18th Samas in Sun City two weeks ago, many people in the music industry expressed shock at his poor health. He performed at the awards.
He had been living in a commune in Melville, west of Johannesburg, for some time, sharing with Sibisi.
His final performance was when together with Mdu Masilela he went down memory lane at the latter's 40th birthday at DaVinci, Sandton, last Thursday.
There, too, Brown Dash's health became the topic of the night.
But he was quite energetic and seemed to have found a new lease on life showing his shockingly scrawny physique with protruding cheek bones.
In the commune he is alleged to have abused illicit substances despite his poor health.
Robbie Malinga, producer and musician who has been involved with all Brown Dash's projects, said: "I'm speechless. I have no words to describe my grief".
Musician Arthur Mafokate said: "This is obviously shocking. Brown Dash was one of those musicians that kept kwaito raw and real".