Thandi stunned at reports of her death

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Jazz diva Thandi Klaasen is alive and kicking, contrary to SMS rumours that she had died in London.

"I don't know why people would spread such rumours that I was dead.

"Anyway, tell the whole of South Africa that Ekis nog lewendig (I am still alive)," she told Sowetan from her home yesterday.

The SMS making the rounds said Klaasen had died while touring in London . In fact the sister of song is not only alive, but was preparing for a show yesterday.

"I have not done any gigs in a long time. I am looking forward to my performance tonight," she said yesterday.

But she complained that promoters have "sidelined and neglected me".

"Some have claimed that I do not have a face, I have the voice only," said Klaasen, whose face was disfigured when she was a teenager.

The 1950s icon has enjoyed a long career but lately gigs have been hard to come by and last year she broke her leg.

But, she believes that the rumour is a good omen.

"In my culture it means I will live longer."