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'She is OK now, she feels no pain' — Yvonne Chaka Chaka pays tribute to Deborah Fraser

21 May 2022 - 12:00 By CONSTANCE GAANAKGOMO AND KYLE ZEEMAN
Yvonne Chaka Chaka paid tribute to Deborah Fraser.
Yvonne Chaka Chaka paid tribute to Deborah Fraser.
Image: YouTube/ SABC

SA music legend Yvonne Chaka Chaka has paid tribute to Deborah Fraser,  reflecting on her last conversations with the star.

Taking the podium at the Station Venue in Durban on Saturday morning, Yvonne recounted a chat she had with Deborah three weeks ago.

“She said gogo I will be OK. She is OK now, she feels no pain, no one is hurting her and no one is giving her a headache.”

Yvonne said Deborah thanked those close to her. When Yvonne asked “why she spoke like she was dying”, Deborah laughed and said she would be OK.

Deborah died last Sunday at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital surrounded by family, after a short illness.

Yvonne said Deborah's music would live on, even though the government does not always appreciate artists.

“To the music industry, Deborah has done a lot. It is just a pity that sometimes our government does not appreciate or support a lot of creatives. It is our job to band together.”

She thanked Deborah's family for “giving us a superstar”, and promised not to abandon them.

“We will be there for you,” she added.

She paid tribute to Deborah's talent and again called for artists to unite.

'We need to start working together. We need to make sure artists get their royalties. We need to make sure they put aside the money they get from royalties. We should not be blaming government, we must also work hard, and work for our children.”

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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