DURBAN – Condolences poured in on Monday from across the country for the family of award-winning gospel artist Sfiso Ncwane, after news broke that he had died from suspected kidney failure at the age of 37.
KwaZulu-Natal gospel community station Highway Radio reported that Ncwane died at Fourways Life Hospital in Johannesburg on Monday morning after a short illness.
In a brief statement President Jacob Zuma said: “The passing of Mr Ncwane is a massive loss for the country. His music touched the hearts of millions of people. He was one of the best gospel artists that the country has ever produced, and he left us at such a young age. We are deeply saddened. May his soul rest in peace.”
The office of KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu also expressed condolences to Ncwane’s family.
“Hours after we received the news of the passing away of Ncwane, we are still in deep shock. The pain is immeasurable across the province and the country as a whole,” Mchunu was quoted as saying in a statement.
“Ncwane was a gifted musician who left an indelible mark in the country and represented this province with distinction both as a musician and as an ambassador for road safety campaigns.
“Critically, Ncwane was a symbol of hope to many aspiring gospel singers, a genre which has grown in leaps and bounds in terms of popularity and inspiration in recent times.”
The province’s Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi was expected to visit the family on Tuesday.
Zwakele Mncwango, the leader of the DA in KwaZulu-Natal, also paid tribute to the singer.
“The DA wishes to convey its heart-felt condolences to the family of the award-winning gospel artist. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ncwane family, his colleagues in the media industry and fans during this difficult time,” he said.
He said the province and the country as a whole had lost an icon.