The South African Creative Industry’s Death Toll since 2020!!


The South African Entertainment Industry has lost a notable number of stars since the beginning of 2020. Death did not give the industry a break but continued taking away different personalities (celebrities) with amazing talents. Some of these people passed-on following the advent of Covid-19, accidents, suicides, shooting and or other hideous situations.

In 2022 the following celebrities died:

  1. Kuli Roberts, a TV presenter
  2. Ricky Rick, a rapper who took his life after battling depression.
  3. Patrick Shai, a veteran TV Actor who is alleged to have taken his life by hanging himself.
  4. Tumi Tladi, a rapper who died in July 2022 after committing suicide.
  5. Deborah Fraser, a gospel singer who suffered from stroke.
  6. Jamie Bartlett, Rhythm Actor died suffering a Cardiac arrest.
  7. DJ Sumbody, was killed in November 2022 by some unknown gunmen who sprayed his vehicle with a hail of bullets.

In 2023 we had the following celebrities who passed on in South Africa:

  1. Kiernan Forbes “AKA”, who was shot and killed in Durban on the 10th of February 2023.
  2. Costa Titch (Constantinos Tsobanoglou), a musician who died during his performance at the Ultra Music Festival in Johannesburg.
  3. Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane, died same spot with his friend AKA by been shot in Durban on the 10th of February 2023.
  4. Gloria Bosman, SAMRO (South African Music Rights Organization) Board Member died on the 14th of March 2023.

As we draw to the end of 2023, we lost one of the young female musician who succumbed to liver complications on the 11th of December 2023. Bulelwa Mkutukana, known by her stage name Zahara, was a South African singer, songwriter and guitarist. Her music was classified loosely as “Afro-soul”, and she sang in Xhosa, her native language, as well as in English.

Lastly, the South African Creative Industry (SACI) is still shocked by the death of Mbongeni Ngema, a South African playwright, lyricist, composer, director, choreographer, and theatre producer who died on the 27th of December 2023 while travelling from attending a funeral. Ngema was best known for co-writing the 1981 play Woza Albert! and co-writing the 1988 musical Sarafina!

As the audiences and the consumers of the local or South African produced artworks we are dumbfounded by the passing on of men and women from the entertainment industry. We are waiting and praying to God so that He can spare the lives of these creative persons.



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