In a poignant funeral service held in East London on Saturday morning, Zahara’s sisters paid tribute to the late Afro-soul icon, hailing her as a fierce fighter who maintained hope even in the face of sickness. The multi-award-winning musician, whose real name is Bulelwa Mkutukana, passed away two weeks ago after being admitted to a Johannesburg hospital in late November.
During the heartfelt service, Zahara’s sister, Bandezwa Mkutukana, shared insights into Zahara’s unwavering spirit, expressing that even during her illness, Zahara remained hopeful about her recovery. Bandezwa revealed, “She kept saying she wanted to do a gospel album. When she called on her way to the hospital on the Friday, she kept telling us not to worry [and that] she would be fine. She said she was glad she fell ill in November because her December is busy.”
Lumka Mkutukana, Zahara’s older sister, reflected on the profound impact of Zahara’s passing on their lives. “When they said she passed away, I couldn’t believe it. I thought, ‘God, where are we going to start? What are we going to do without Bulelwa?’” Lumka expressed the deep sense of loss and the challenges faced by the family in coping with Zahara’s departure.
Zahara’s funeral service brought together friends, family, and fans, creating a space for shared memories and tributes. The enduring legacy of Zahara’s music and her resilience as a performer and individual were celebrated, emphasizing the indelible mark she left on the music industry and the hearts of those who admired her.