Mahotella Queens' star Mbadu passes on after fight with kidney failure

Mahotella Queens, Nobesuthu Mbadu, Hilda Tloubatla and Amanda Nkosi, perform on stage in this file picture.
Mahotella Queens, Nobesuthu Mbadu, Hilda Tloubatla and Amanda Nkosi, perform on stage in this file picture.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/

Mahotella Queens founding member Nobesuthu Mbadu has died at the age of 76.

Family spokesperson Vanessa Tloubatla confirmed to Sowetan that Mbadu died at Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, due to kidney failure.

“Her family and colleagues are devastated and ask that you allow them the space and time to mourn this amazing queen peacefully and respectfully. More details will be shared on the funeral and memorial service,” Tloubatla said.

Mbadu was 19 when she joined the mbaqanga group formed by Rupert Bopape in 1964 with Hilda Tloubatla and Amanda Nkosi.

Mahotella Queens rose to fame quickly as Gallo Record Company’s girl group with the late Simon “Mahlathini” Nkabinde as the lead male vocalist for many of their hits.

They released hits such as Gazette (Kazet), Melodi Ya Lla, Uyavutha Umlilo and more.

Mbadu retired from performing in 2017 when her health started to deteriorate, after recording their smash hit Malome with Cassper Nyovest.

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