From Dan Tshanda to WWE's 'Mean Gene': 4 prominent figures who died in the first week of 2019

Dan Tshanda died at a Sandton hospital on Saturday.
Dan Tshanda died at a Sandton hospital on Saturday.
Image: Facebook/Dan Tshanda

For many people the first week of the new year is filled with hope and excitement for the year ahead‚ but for families of the following prominent people‚ 2019 has gotten off to a heartbreaking start.

- Musician Dan Tshanda

On January 5‚ South African music lovers were dealt a heavy blow as they heard of the passing of iconic musician Dan Tshanda.

Tshanda was the driving force behind the careers of many artists‚ including Dalom Kids and Splash. 

He influenced many musicians with his brand of upbeat traditional music. Tributes have been coming in from across the African continent.

The 'Peacock' hitmaker died from heart failure at the Sandton Mediclinic.

- Book publisher Stephen Johnson

The literary community is mourning the death of book publisher and former MD of Exclusive Books Stephen Johnson. 

Author Mike Nicol tweeted: "There are books I would not have written were it not for Stephen."

Exclusive Books Ben Williams spoke highly of Johnson and said that the late publisher was "obsessive about things like the quality of paper used" in the final product.

"He worked very closely with a lot of writers to produce beautiful objects in addition to text." 

- WWE's Gene Okerlund

The death of legendary wrestling announcer Gene Okerlund came as a shock to fans of the WWE. 

Known to wrestling fans as 'Mean Gene'‚ the charismatic announcer was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.

According to the Daily Mail‚ 76-year old Okerlund died weeks after suffering a bad fall at his home.

Older fans of the sport remember 'Mean Gene' from the time he sang the national anthem at the first Wrestlemania event in 1985.

On Monday‚ WWE tweeted a video tribute to Okerlund. 

- Actor Bob Einstein

Comedian and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" actor Bob Einstein died on January 2‚ aged 76. 

According to the New York Times‚ the actor succumbed to cancer.

In the popular television series "Curb Your Enthusiasm"‚ Einstein brought the fictional character of Marty Funkhouser to life.

He also appeared on "Seinfeld" alongside Jerry Seinfeld.

Seinfeld posted a tribute video on Twitter on Friday. Three days later more than 3m people had watched it. 

Source: TMG Digital.

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