Dr. Deborah Fraser was remembered as a nurturer and a caring friend. Friends, family, and fellow gospel artists gathered for the late Fraser’s memorial service at the House of Treasures Ministries in Rispark, south of Johannesburg.
Fraser passed away on Sunday. She had been fighting diabetes for quite some time.
Artists took turns to honour the late legend the best way they know how, through song.
Fraser might have started her career as a backup singer for the likes of Brenda Fassie and Caiphus Semenya, but she quickly surfaced to stardom after releasing her debut album “Abanye Bayombona” in the year 2000.
She was due to release her 14th album later this year. Eloise Kelly from Fraser’s record label Universal Music Group says Fraser had talent and voice unmatched.
“We as universal also considered ourselves as family, we have lost a family member, a voice that soothed the soul and embraced the heart. She evoked emotion. Deborah’s always connected to the heavens. When her time came, she was at peace. She will see the almighty. The heavens are waiting to receive her. She leaves behind a rich legacy.”
Those who knew her personally, like close friend Lina Ngcobo – have described Fraser as a nurturer and loving mother.
“We were friends before we even had kids. She only had two biological children, but was a mother to so many kids. she helped so many kids through school. She was a loving person.”
‘There’s only one Deborah’
Gospel legend Jabu Hlongwa says Fraser leaves a huge footprint in the industry.
“Imagine if she could see this while she was still alive, it would be amazing. We need to give support while they live. She has left a footprint, there’s only one Deborah, we don’t need another Deborah. There is no gap, she’s done well.”
Meanwhile, Gauteng arts and culture government officials were met with hostility. Ike Khumalo took the time to tell the representatives present that they never took care of artists during the hard lockdown.
“Where was the department when Deborah was sick in Bara. Where whey they, they closed the country for two years but they still received salaries while we were struggling.”
Musician Chicco Twala also lambasted the government for not doing enough to support artists. Twala says an iconic musician of Fraser’s stature, deserved much more.
“There is a lot of money to bury Deborah today, but there was no money when she needed medical care. Deborah deserves better. I never thought that A musician that contributed so much, could not get assistance from the government.”
Fraser will be buried on Saturday in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. Arts and Culture Deputy Minister, Nocawe Mafu, visited the Fraser home in Eikenhof, south of Johannesburg.
Mafu says, “The beauty about her is that her music ministered to us and her music has been very popular with South Africans. Her passing away has affected all of us because this is an icon, this is a legend. This is somebody who has been there for South Africans in terms of the music. As the government, we have come to pass our condolences and to be able to say to them, through the loss and pain, government is there for them.”
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