Fans were saddened by the news of hip-hop veteran Kgotso Semela aka Ben Sharpa’s death on Thursday.
News of the rapper’s death emerged on Thursday afternoon, with details around the exact cause being sketchy.
According to TshisaLIVE, Ben’s colleague and former record label boss at Jarring Effects apparently confirmed the news to the publication.
“I was in contact with Tebz his sister this morning and she said that Kgotso is gone. It’s horrible news for all of us. Tebz told me last week that he was ill but I did not expect to lose a friend,” the publication quoted the label manager as saying.
A woman named Tanya Thomas, who is believed to be a friend of Ben’s also took to Facebook to share the news.
“Our dear friend and valedictorian of AISJ graduating class of ‘95 Kgotso Semela (Ben Sharpa) passed away this morning after being hospitalised with complications due to diabetes. We keep his family and close friends in our hearts and prayers at this difficult time,” read the post.
The musician was well known for speaking about political issues through his songs. One of his most famous songs, Hegemony touched on police brutality.
Fans have flooded social media with an outpouring of tributes to him:
Just heard sad news about the death of one of the best to ever do it, one of the pioneers of SA Hip Hop, all time fave; Kaptin my Kaptin Ben Sharpa is no more 😭😭😭🙆🏾♂️🙆🏾♂️ RIPBenSharpa pic.twitter.com/BdI426acVv
— Luthando Sigubudu 🇿🇦 (@SgubzSigubudu) July 26, 2018
I am going to RT everyone and everything Ben Sharpa. This legend deserves to be known and appreciated. Fathers of mzansi hip hop they did it before it was fashionable to do so!
— Phethani Madzivhandila (@phethani4) July 26, 2018
R.I.P Ben Sharpa. Deepest condolences to his loved ones.
— Baby Brother (@Blaklez) July 26, 2018
wow ben sharpa died. sad news.
— Maria McCloy (@MariaPodesta) July 26, 2018
RIP Ben Sharpa 💔. Thank you for the music.
— #VI #Twinkle #Iphupho #GigiGang (@Gigi_Lamayne) July 26, 2018