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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 May, 2004, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
South Africans mourn top pop diva
Brenda Fassie (centre)
Fassie (centre) was described as the wild child of South African music
South Africans are grieving after the death of one of the country's most popular singers, Brenda Fassie, 39.

Fassie, known as the girl with the golden voice, was taken to hospital two weeks ago with brain damage following a heart attack.

She had been at the forefront of South African music for some 20 years.

In a statement, President Thabo Mbeki said she had been "a Pan-African griot, making souls rise in bliss wherever her voice reached."

Known for outbursts of temper and a long battle with drugs, she had many fans across Africa, including former South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Loudest applause

Her family confirmed on Sunday that she had suffered brain damage following a cardio-respiratory arrest.

Known as "the Madonna of the Townships", Brenda Fassie shot to fame in the early 1980s with the hit Weekend Special.

Despite being written off by critics numerous times, Fassie has a host of fans across Africa.

When she sang at a concert marking the handover of power from former president Mandela to Thabo Mbeki, the cheers for Fassie were reported to be the loudest.

Her condition has been front-page news in South Africa's newspapers.

Her family say her fans should not mourn her but instead celebrate her memory with her music.

Were you a Brenda Fassie fan? Send us your tributes.

Brenda was really a musical giant, she has really fascinated me with her breath-taking music. Africa has indeed lost a gem. May her soul rest in perfect peace .
Uche Okonkwo, Abuja

All your songs and music were inspirational
Austine Adie, Kano, Nigeria
Brenda, all your songs and music were inspirational; you have gone but never to be forgotten. We love you but God loves you most. I pray that may your gentle soul rest in perfect bosom of the Lord. Adio Brenda!
Austine Adie, Kano, Nigeria

I've been a fan of Brenda for the last 20 years, everyone in Botswana loves her. Brenda, the message I have for you is the same one you had for your late mother - "Mama rest in peace, you'll always be in my heart". Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu.
Helga Mankebe, Coventry - UK

Adieu, to a true African queen, welcome to heaven!
Obinna, Lagos, Nigeria

With your superb singing, your songs gave pleasure to millions and you will always be remembered. I pray for you and your family and close friends and offer God blessings. You were simply the best.
John Orfile, London, England

Brenda you have been a gift and a blessing to us in Southern Africa and in the world. Nothing can take you from us. You shall live forever in our hearts and in our houses and in our memories as the joy of every minute, every moment, every party, every wedding, every journey and every prayer uttered to God.
Wenkosi Tafa, Claremont, USA

The Sierra Leonean party till dawn to your music
Margaret, Virginia, USA
The voice of Africa is silent. What a voice. The heavenly angels have Brenda singing so sweetly and once again Africa loses. The Sierra Leoneans party till dawn to your music at the weekends. Rest in peace sister, rest in God's loving arms.
Margaret, Virginia, USA

Brenda was like a breath of fresh air in the African Music Industry. At long last, she provided us, African music fans, the true transition from the old to the new. You'll be missed Brenda, may your soul rest in peace.
Alex Quermorllue, Milford, PA. USA

Legends don't die but they part away from us, and still they words and actions remain with us. So Brenda Fans don't worry she is with us lets keep her music with us. Rest in peace Brenda.
Nellie Mahachi, Atlanta, USA

A voice so husky, a message so inspiring, memories of your music will be forever etched in the minds of Africans the world over! How I envy those who have gone ahead because they will be treated to great sounds by you. All the same, you remain in our hearts. May your Soul rest in Peace!
Fiona, Berlin, Germany

Brenda - you are a true daughter of Africa
Mary Kavalo, Blantyre, Malawi
Brenda - you are a true daughter of Africa. You are a rare gem and you will always be remembered for your timeless songs. I started hearing your music when I was a teenager and now I am a grown up lady and still enjoy your songs. Lala kuhle ntombi
Mary Kavalo, Blantyre, Malawi

It's really a very trying time for all of us who loved Brenda. She was what anyone who is truly African can call the top pop diva Africa could ever have. We shall always celebrate her legacy as she made many of us very proud of our home - Africa. Please send my condolences to the grieving family. Please let them know that the whole of Africa is standing behind them. May Her Soul Rest in Peace.
Chris Kayongo, Kampala, Uganda

As a man, l thought l was bold and strong, but when l heard the news this morning l felt my eyes swell with tears. l will miss you Brenda.
Lloyd Mushakwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

I hope you have finally found peace
Wairimu Kuria, Kenyan/US
Brenda Fassie is one of the most memorable of our African musicians. Her songs always make us dance and smile. We will all miss her very much. I hope you have finally found peace.
Wairimu Kuria, Kenyan/US

Rest in peace Dibakazi, you will always be in our hearts. I loved you from an early age and I clearly remember when I was in primary school telling the whole class including my teacher that when I grow up I want to be Brenda. We have not lost anyone; we have good memories of when you were still with us which will live for ever in our hearts. Memeza Brenda - wherever you are.
Thandiwe Solwandle, Maseru, Lesotho

She was an inspiration to many and we should not let her death make us despair. She left a remarkable legacy, something we should all endeavour to do. The Ugandan community shall miss her but I am confident that her message through her songs shall continue to have an impact. May the Almighty bless and receive her soul.
Edmund Paul Kalekyezi, Kampala, Uganda

She was one of the best the continent had to offer.
Ade Ojo, Sheffield, UK

I am still dazed. I was actually surfing the net to get some information on her when I came across the sad news. She is a brilliant musician and my heartfelt condolences to her friends and family. I started listening to her about a year ago and can truly say she was one of the best the continent had to offer. You will be missed. Rest In Peace Brenda
Ade Ojo, Sheffield, UK

We have really lost a true daughter of the soil. Her music was so popular in my country Sierra Leone. People love her voice and the way she dance. I send my deepest condolences on behalf of all the Sierra Leonean people, and she would remain in our memories forever. May her soul rest in perfect peace
Benjamin Palmer, Germany

Brenda was one of the greatest musicians ever to emerge from the mother continent. Year after year she produced one great song after another, and that is what most of us always expected from her. Her live shows were even more amazing, you just had to be there to really appreciate "Sister B" as she was sometimes affectionately known.
Nkosinathi Mbuya, Ithaca, USA (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)

We all loved her. Rest in peace Brenda
Fidelis Kababi Kashaga Bishansha, Bulibata, Buhembe-Bukoba

She is not only a legend in her chosen profession but a true ambassador to mother Africa.
Chris Kehinde Nwandu, Abuja, Nigeria
I met Brenda at the lobby of the Nicon Hilton Hotel here in Abuja late last year prior to the opening of the All African Games when she came here to perform at the opening of the Abuja National Stadium. I was so surprised with her humility and go go attitude towards all the people that came across her that day. I am happy I had the privilege to embrace and hug such a wonderful talent, the memory will live for ever. She is not only a legend in her chosen profession but a true ambassador to mother Africa. She has always been my favourite female artiste in Africa. May her soul rest in perfect peace.
Chris Kehinde Nwandu, Abuja,Nigeria

Just yesterday (Sunday - Mother's Day) the local stations were repeatedly playing Brenda Fassi's "Mama" song, which is about her Mother who has passed away! How fittingly that she should go to meet her "Mama" on Mother's Day! Brenda, Thank You for the music and May Your Soul Rest in Peace is all we can say!
Zarou, Eritrea

Brenda, you will ever be remembered for your humanity, Africanism, Patriotism and love to the whole of Africa. You have left us, but your soul is with us forever. May God rest you in peace.
Damas Alexander, Mwanza,Tanzania.

Brenda Fassie's "Mina Nawe" was the first South African album I purchased when I visited that incredible country last summer. The vibrance and energy of her music sent shivers down my spine and spread a smile across my face. I'm shocked to hear she's gone.
Brendan Kearney, Baltimore, USA

What can I say about Brenda. I grew up with her music back in the '80s. She was and still is popular in Zimbabwe. Personally, my love for her will never diminish one bit. I live in the USA, now, but I brought your music with me. Your music was legendary. Your music inspired many people on the African continent. You never faded into oblivion, like many other artists. You remained resolute, competing with the younger generation. I will miss her. Hamba kahle Brenda. You did your part. You entertained us, you informed us, you inspired us through your music. You, Brenda, shall be part of my life forever.
Paul Kudinha

We are so sad to lose such a talented figure in the African music industry. Brenda Fassie was an inspiration to our club. Our theme song is Vulindlela and every time we dance to this song it will be a tribute to her. We love you and you will be greatly missed. For her family: we are sorry for your loss.
Hood College African Students Association,Frederick, US

Brenda, thank you for all the music you gave us, which we know will always live on. This is a loss not only to our continent but the whole world of music. R.I.P.
John Kamau, Nairobi, Kenya

We have sincerely lost a true star of the continent. A sister, and indeed a great performer, and artist! We send our deepest condolences on behalf of the Gambian people, and she would remain in our memories despite not having the chance to see her perform. May her soul rest in peace!
Usman Manga, Fajara, The Gambia.

Brenda Fassie: A very human hero
10 May 04  |  Africa
SA star's condition 'worsening'
07 May 04  |  Africa


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