South African Legend THANDI KLAASEEN Dies At 86

South African Legend THANDI KLAASEEN Dies At 86


Veteran South African Jazz Star Who Doubles as Nelson Mandela’s favorite singer Thandi Klaasen, is Dead after a Prolonged Pancreatic Cancer Ailment.

The news of her death was announced on Sunday morning on Twitter by Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

He tweeted: “We are saddened to learn that Jazz Legend Thandi Klaasen has passed on. Our thoughts are with her daughter Lorraine, her loved ones, & fans.

“uMama Thandi Klaasen will be remembered for her indomitable spirit, who succeeded against all odds….

“…and her silky smooth voice which serenaded audiences the world over. How much richer we are having heard her sing.

“How much she touched our spirits and made us complete beings in a world in which things were falling apart,” Mthethwa tweeted.

Klaasen’s daughter, singer Lorraine, earlier this week revealed that her mother was fighting pancreatic cancer.

She thanked friends and fans for all the support that she and the family have received at this tough time.

Thandi Klaaseen and Daughter Lorraine
Thandi Klaaseen and Daughter Lorraine

The late Klaasen was awarded South Africa’s Order of the Baobab in Gold in 2006 for “excellent achievement in and contribution to the art of Music”.

In August 2013, as part of the Women’s Month celebrations, Klaasen and four other icons of South African jazz – Abigail Kubheka, Dorothy Masuka, Sathima Bea Benjamin and Sylvia Mdunyelwa – were honoured by Standard Bank with lifetime achievement awards.

Other awards she has received include the Woman of Distinction Award received in Canada in 1999), and a lifetime achievement award at the 2006 South African Music Awards.

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