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Funeral service held for Deborah Fraser

21 May 2022 - 09:03

Mourners have gathered at the Station Venue in Durban on Saturday for the funeral service of the late gospel star Deborah Fraser.

Friends and family shared fond memories of the star and the effect she had on their lives.

Mourners will then travel to Lala Kahle Cemetery in Hillcrest for a final gravesite ceremony before the star is laid to rest.

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

Controversial advocate Ike Khumalo interrupted a planned address by a representative of the department of arts & culture at the star's memorial service on Thursday, questioning where the department was when the star was struggling?

He later told TshisaLIVE he decided to speak out because he knew about the gospel star's struggles and was tired of the government's “mistreatment towards artists”.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, like so many other creatives, she was struggling. She was in a public hospital before her death and had no help. The department could have sent someone to visit or to help the family. Instead family and friends were the ones who were there to take care of her.

“They have no right to speak at her funeral.”

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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