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'I ran out of time': Deborah Fraser's children 'devastated' at her passing

21 May 2022 - 12:16 By CONSTANCE GAANAKGOMO AND KYLE ZEEMAN
Deborah Fraser's son said she was resting and no longer in pain.
Deborah Fraser's son said she was resting and no longer in pain.
Image: YouTube/ SABC

Deborah Fraser's children struggled to hold back the tears as they shared emotional tributes to the late gospel star, saying they wanted to give her the life she gave them, but ran out of time.

Speaking at her funeral service at the Station Venue in Durban on Saturday morning, her son Nkosana shared some of the grief he had felt since Deborah's passing last Sunday.

The star died at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital surrounded by family after a short illness.

“Everyone knew Ma. I'm not going to lie to you, Mom was not OK, especially this year. Death is not something you can get used to. I catch myself sitting in the car alone and realising it is real; Ma is gone,” he said.

“Anyone who was close to my mom's heart knew it was filled with love. Ma, I would like to thank you for teaching me to be humble. I would like to thank you for teaching me not to look down on others. I want to thank you for everything you have done for me and the family.”

Addressing his mom, he said she could see the effect her music had on the nation and how her death devastated her family and friends.

“I would like to apologise to you for not giving you the life you gave me. I ran out of time. Rest well, I am going to miss you.”

Deborah's daughter Aliyah broke down, saying she had  lost a best friend.

“I may have lost a mother but I have gained a very powerful guardian angel. Thank you for everything. There was so much I wanted to still learn from you, but I thank God for what I have learnt already. There was so much I still wanted to do for you.”

Family representative Vuka Tshabalala said Deborah's children were still coming to terms with her passing.

“We could always rely on her, whenever you call her whatever time, she would always arrive. She wouldn’t ask any questions she would show up. We the family of Fraser and Tshabala, we are very devastated, especially the children Nkosana and Aaliyah.

'It's really hard because we were not expecting her to pass away. When someone is ill you always have faith that they will get better. She was still too young to leave us like this, but we know we are not the only ones who feel the loss, her fans and musicians too. I would like to say to them: be comforted and let us come together and pray for God to help us all.”

Deborah fell ill on the way to a gig earlier this year and was hospitalised.

“I was unconscious, even the artists that came there said I should be transported to hospital,” a wheelchair-bound Deborah told TshisaLIVE a few weeks ago.

She was set to undergo rehabilitation before her death.

“I still cannot walk. I think it's because I was in bed for a long time, but I don't know for sure. It's stressful to live a life you're not used to. I'm asking for love, I'm asking for prayers.” 

The star still performed after her hospitalisation, with images and video of her performing in a wheelchair going viral.

Deborah garnered many accolades and sold over a million copies of her albums in a career spanning more than three-and-a-half decades.

She was born in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal, and in 1986 moved to Johannesburg to pursue her music career.

She provided backing vocals for local and international musical icons, including Hugh Masekela, Cyndi Lauper, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Jon Secada, Jonas Gwangwa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Sound of Blackness, Bebe Winans and Brenda Fassie.

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