Musical icon sings no more

Israel Nkate

Israel Nkate

Tomorrow South Africa will bury musical icon Patience Africa.

Africa, 68, whose career in the music industry spans four decades, died on Tuesday at her home in Malvern, Johannesburg, following a long illness.

Her son, Mangaliso Ngema, said his mother had earlier been taken to Johannesburg Hospital and later transferred to Selby Hospital in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg.

"While she was at Selby she wanted to come back home, saying there were no nurses because of the strike," Ngema said.

The songbird was born in Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal. She grew up in Durban where she started her career as a singer and songwriter in the early 1960s.

She won her first award as Best Female Vocalist for her hit single Ilanga Malishona in 1977, followed by the smash hit Bhula Sangoma on SABC's then Radio Zulu.

She worked with Mpharanyana, Mahotela Queens, Themba Mokoena, Ray Phiri and Lady Smith Black Mambazo under the late West Nkosi.

She will be buried at the Westpark Cemetery after a service at the DOCC Hall in Orlando East, Soweto, that starts at 9am.