This month marks the 3rd anniversary of African Music legend, Brenda Fassie's death. I am a big fan of her music and thought to remember her on the same month she died three years ago.
Brenda was born on Nov 3 1964 in Langa, Cape Town, South Africa, as the youngest of 9 children. She was named after Brenda Lee, an American country singer. Her father died when she was 2, and with the help of her mother, a pianist, she started earning money by singing for tourists.
In 1981, at the age of 16, she left Cape Town for Soweto, Johannesburg to seek her fortune as a singer. Brenda first joined the group Joy and later became the lead singer for the township pop group Brenda And The Big Dudes. She had a son, Bongani, in 1985 by a fellow Big Dudes musician.
Brenda married ex-convict Nhlanhla Mbambo in 1989 but later in 1991 got divorced. It was around this time that she became addicted to cocaine and her career suffered.
Since 1996 she released several solo albums like "Now Is The Time", "Memeza" and "Nomakanjani?".
Most of her albums became multi-platinum sellers in South Africa.
On the morning of 26 April 2004, Brenda collapsed at her home in Buccleuch and was admitted into the Sunninghill hospital in Johannesburg.
The post-mortem report revealed that she had taken an overdose of cocaine in the night of her collapse, and this was the cause of her coma.
She stopped breathing and suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen.
Brenda died at age 39 on 9 May 2004 in hospital without returning to consciousness after her life support machines were turned off.
She was survived by a son, Bongani
She was voted 17th in the Top 100 Great South Africans.
She has come and gone, but her legacy will always remain with us. Adieu Brenda...we will always love you!