Gospel singers, fans celebrate the life of Deborah Fraser at memorial service

'Debs opened her arms and home to all in need'

Late gospel star Deborah Fraser
Late gospel star Deborah Fraser
Image: Oupa Bopape

Late gospel star Deborah Fraser has been described as "Mother Teresa" who opened her arms and home to all. 

Fraser, who died on Sunday at Chris Hani Baragwanath  Academic Hospital, had two kids but she opened her home to many orphans. 

Sabelo Sithole, well known as Ntombeziningi on social media, defined Fraser as a loving and caring woman who took care of many kids who arrived at her doorstop.

Sithole was speaking at the memorial service which took place at the House of Treasures Ministries near Alberton, south of Johannesburg, on Thursday. Gospel singers and gospel fans came to celebrate the life of the star. The celebratory memorial service saw artists including Vicky Vilakazi and Percy Ingle, among others, performing. 

Sithole is among the young people that she raised and housed for years. The social media star said when the hospital contacted him on Sunday with news that Fraser had died, he could not believe that she was gone. 

"I drove straight from the house and when we arrived her body was wrapped. I had to break the news to the family. But what I can say is that Debs was a fighter. These past two months things were hectic. Mam Deborah was not well and I watched her suffering. But she fought and it was not easy.

"Mam Deborah was a loving person. I lived at her house when my own family chased me away for coming to them telling them I am gay. Mom Debs said to me: 'be yourself and be the best that you can be.' She was very supportive to me and took many other kids." 

When it came to fashion, Sithole said Fraser was in her own league. He defined her style as classy and elegant. "Lately, I was her brand manager. But I have known her as this stylish person. She knew how to mix colours. She loved buying clothes  at exclusive boutiques. She loved Prada. I want her to be remembered as a diva and icon and mother."

Close friend Linah Khama Ngcobo said: "Me and Deborah come a long way. We were young when we met in this industry. We used to party together. To me she was no longer a friend but a sister. In all these years our friendship continued."

CEO of Universal Music Group Sub Saharan Africa, Sipho Dlamini, commiserated: “We have lost a dedicated and diligent artist who always put her fans and God first in all she did. She respected her craft and valued the role she played in spreading the gospel. We are now left with her gift of music to draw comfort and strength from. Rest in peace Deborah, you will never be forgotten.”

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