Founder of the Joy of Jazz Festival, Peter Tladi, says the late Sibongile Khumalo was a humble woman, a lady of note and always said her music belonged to the people of South Africa.

Tladi was paying tribute to the world-renowned jazz musician and opera singer who died on Thursday at the age of 63.

Her family says she passed away in hospital from stroke-related complications.

Throughout her career, she was awarded many accolades including The Order of Ikhamanga bestowed on her by former President Thabo Mbeki.

Tladi says, “Sibongile was a lovely person, she as a lady. You know when I booked her for a show, we used to sit and discuss what she’s going to do, she didn’t just walk through to the show and she used to call me, eish wena you are strict … it’s so sad, I’m shocked, I can’t believe she was very humble and she had continuously said to me ‘the music that she’s singing, the people of South Africa owns that music’.”

Difficult

Legendary jazz musician Sipho Hotsitx Mabuse says he finds her death difficult to comprehend.

Mabuse says he and Khumalo grew up together in Orlando West, Soweto:

Hospital

Family spokesperson Bandile Mngoma says she died in hospital and it was not COVID-19-related.

Mngoma says Khumalo had not been well for a while:

Social media reacts to Khumalo’s passing: