South Africa's Iconic Figures who Died in 2023


In 2023, South Africa bid farewell to several notable individuals whose lives were tragically cut short. The nation mourned the loss of these influential figures and acknowledged the significant roles they played in their respective fields. Through their work and the lives they touched, their legacies will be remembered by the people of South Africa.

Here is a list of some of the icons that Mzansi lost during the year:

1. Vusi "Ma R5" Mosoeu (30 January):
Vusi Ma R5, a rising artist known in Pretoria and the Barcadi scene, was tragically gunned down at a pub in Soshanguve. His untimely death devastated the people of Pretoria, as he had a promising career ahead of him.

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2. Kiernan "AKA" Forbes (10 February):
AKA, a renowned musician, was fatally shot at Wish restaurant in Durban. His death came as a shock to the nation, occurring just days before the release of his highly anticipated album, "Mass Country."

3. Lentswe Bhengu-Mafoko (28 February):
Lentswe Bhengu-Mafoko, a celebrity chef, media personality, and cookbook author, passed away after a short illness. He had appeared on several shows, including "Africa on a Plate," "The Great South African Bake Off," and "Phat Joe's Cheeky Palate."

4. Mark Pilgrim (5 March):
Mark Pilgrim, a beloved media personality who hosted various television and radio shows, lost his battle with cancer. Diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, he passed away at home with his fiancée by his side.

5. Costa Titch (11 March):
Costa Titch, a rising star in the music industry, tragically collapsed and passed away while performing at an event in Johannesburg. Despite his efforts to continue performing, he was unable to recover and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

6. Gloria Bosman (14 March):
Gloria Bosman, a legendary jazz singer, was admired by fans both locally and globally. After a brief illness, she sadly passed away, leaving behind a legacy of groundbreaking contributions to South African music.

7. Eusebius McKaiser (28 March):
Eusebius McKaiser, a renowned journalist, 702 presenter, and political analyst, was known for his strong opinions backed by facts. He suffered a suspected epileptic seizure, which tragically led to his passing.

8. Alex "Gold Fingers" Shakoane (7 May):
Alex Shakoane, the longest-serving public relations officer of Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club and a dedicated supporter, passed away due to a stroke. He was instrumental in uniting supporters during match days at stadiums.

9. Marietjie Bothma (29 May):
Marietjie Bothma, a talented actress known for her fluent isiZulu speaking skills, gained popularity through an advert and later appeared in the Mzansi Magic soapie "DiepCity." She succumbed to a short illness.

10. Patrick Ndlovu (30 May):
Patrick Ndlovu, famous for his role as Ntate Moloi on the TV series "Zone 14," passed away from natural causes. Throughout his career, he played various roles in different shows, with his recent work being in "Knuckle City."

11. Clive Barker (10 June):
Clive Barker, a prominent figure in South African football, started as a professional player in the 1960s before becoming a successful coach. He played a crucial role in Bafana Bafana's victory in the 1996 African Cup of Nations. Barker was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia before his passing.

12. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (9 September):
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a prominent figure in the Zulu Monarch and the traditional prime minister of the Zulu nation, passed away. He also founded the Inkatha Freedom Party, a significant political party in South Africa.

13. Zoleka Mandela (25 September):
Zoleka Mandela, the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, bravely battled breast cancer, which ultimately claimed her life. Her funeral excluded certain family members, including Mandla and Zinhle Mandela and Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.

14. Lebohang Mpyana (2 November):
Lebohang Mpyana, a talented actress known for her role as Khelina in Mzansi Magic's "DiepCity," tragically passed away after a short illness. Her sudden death came as a shock to many, leaving a void in the entertainment industry.

15. Bulelwa "Zahara" Mkutukana (December):
Zahara, a beloved musician known for her hit song "Loliwe," achieved great success and won numerous awards. She was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital due to liver complications, which ultimately led to her untimely death.

16. Mbongeni Ngema (December 27)

Born in 1955 in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal, Ngema started his career as a theatre backing guitarist. He wrote the musical Sarafina! and co-wrote Woza Albert!, both of which won numerous awards.


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