The arts fraternity in Zimbabwe has been plunged into mourning again following the death of Iyasa founding and longest serving member, Sibonisiwe Sithole, who died in Bulawayo on Thursday morning.
As the county is still coming to terms with the death of rapper Cal Vin, it has been dealt another blow, being robbed of another talent. Sithole died after a short illness.
It is reported that she complained of chest pains on Wednesday and was rushed to hospital, firstly at Mpilo Central Hospital and then to United Bulawayo Hospitals where she died this morning.
Sharing the news of her death, Iyasa posted on their social media pages saying Bonnie’s name would forever be engraved in their hearts.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the sad passing on of our founding member and brilliant dancer/singer Sibonisiwe Sithole. She played a huge role to build this institution and was an inspiration to a number of our current crop of stars. Bonnie is part of the early 2000 crew that brought in hits and changed the game.
“Your name is forever engraved in our hearts. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Sithole family and friends at this difficult time. May her Soul Rest In Peace. Gone too soon Special Star,” wrote Iyasa.
Known as Bonnie Bonnie or Queen Bonnie the Original, Sithole served Iyasa from its inception in 2000 when she joined the likes of Sandra Ndebele, Nomathamsanqa “Nkwali” Mkhwananzi, Roben Mlauzi and Futurelove Sibanda.
Iyasa member, Cheryl Mabaya posted a distraught message on Facebook.
“Bonnie wake up please wake up. Don’t do this to me Bonnie!”
Award-winning dance crew, Ezimnyama Arts also sent their condolence messages to Bonnie’s family and Iyasa.
“On behalf of Ezimnyama Arts Family and the Bulawayo Arts community, we’d like to send our deepest condolences to the Iyasa and Sithole family for the passing on of Sibonisiwe Sithole aka NaJohnnie. We sympathise with you in this difficult phase of life. May we all find comfort. Rest in Power Queen B the Original,” wrote the group.
Another dance crew, Banyana Bafana said: “The arts industry will never be the same again. Rest in peace Sibonisiwe Sithole. It’s very painful to lose loved ones it cuts deeply into the heart. Sithole’s and Iyasa family, may you be soothed by the Almighty during this dark moment. Farewell Bonnie, your star is now shining in a better world.”