Lights out, curtain falls on Vusi Shange

Vusi Shange's bubble-gum disco hits made him a household name during the 1990s. /Veli Nhlapo
Vusi Shange's bubble-gum disco hits made him a household name during the 1990s. /Veli Nhlapo

Legendary bubble-gum music artist Vusi Shange has sung his last verse after losing the battle to sugar diabetes.

Shange, 64, died while bathing at his Vosloorus home in Ekurhuleni on Friday night. He had battled the disease for more than 25 years. News of his death was confirmed by his daughter Sibongile Shange yesterday morning.

Sibongile said her father, who serenaded kings and queens with his hit song Mofe in the '90s, collapsed while performing his ablutions in a bath tub at about 6pm.

"I arrived home from work and called out his name to greet him when I entered the house. When he didn't respond I investigated and found him slumped against the bath tub in his bathroom. I tried to wake him up but he was gone already," she said.

Sibongile said she suspected her father might have succumbed to diabetes.

"He has been fighting this illness for over 25 years, but we didn't think he would leave us this soon because he looked healthy. He always looked after himself."

She further said the muso's untimely death has not only robbed her of a father, but the music industry's opportunity to see him on stage again.

"He was working on a new album which was due to be released soon. Music was his passion, that is why he has been fighting to return to the music industry at [the age of] 64," she said.

The distraught Sibongile said the family would release a statement later in the week to communicate dates for his memorial and funeral services.

Musician and African Musicians Against HIV-Aids (Amaha) chairman Doc Shebeleza said he was saddened by the death of Shange.

"He has been a member of our organisation for a long time. Together with other artists, Shange was dishing out music lessons to upcoming artists and record label owners," said Shebeleza.

"This is not only a huge loss for the Shange family, but for us as Amaha and the nation as a whole."

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