Gospel singer Lundi Tyamara has died at the age of 38. Fans, friends and family have paid tribute to one of South Africa’s most popular singers.
Lundi Tyamara’s former producer, Tshepo Nzimande, described the singer in an interview with eNCA news channel as a “go-getter”. Tyamara died at Edenvale Hospital in the early hours of 27 January 2017, following a battle with TB.
“Lundi put up a gallant fight against his illness, but God’s will prevailed. We ask that his fans, supporters and followers join us in celebrating his life,” said Anele Hlazo, a family friend.
Tyamara had a long music career, starting out as a back-up singer for fellow gospel singer Rebecca Malope when he was still a teenager.
He released his debut album Mphefumlo Wami in 1998. It was an instant success, selling almost 400,000 copies. Over the course of his career Tyamara released more than 20 albums and won numerous South African Music and Kora All Africa Music awards.
Nzimande said that Tyamara had a God-given talent, with a powerful stage presence that found audiences with both young and old. Despite some controversy during his career, including drug and money problems, returning to music and his faith always gave him his greatest pleasure.
Tyamara was aware of the second chance he had at rebuilding his music career over the last few years. In an interview with Entertainment Online website in 2016, he said: “I’m lucky. It’s not easy after all the bad things I have done like the drugs and the alcohol. But my fans still love me. That shows that God has sent me to do this.”
Commenting briefly to eNCA on his passing, Malope said she was in shock but would always have fond and special memories of Tyamara.
Among the many messages, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa extended his condolences to Tyamara’s family and fans.
Tyamara is survived by two sisters and a brother; his mother died in 2006, followed by his stepfather shortly thereafter.
Despite his many hardships, Tyamara’s story was one of great triumph and success. Following his death, he will always be remembered by his fans as a prince of South African gospel.
Watch some of Lundi’s greatest hits below.
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