Late Brenda Nokozola Fassie also called Mbarr by fans, reminds us of the daily struggle we encounter while trying so hard to achieve our dreams. Born in Langa, Cape Town, as the youngest of nine children, she was named after the American singer Brenda Lee. Her father took his last breath when she was just two years old, leaving the mother, a pianist to take care of the family.
Brenda needed so much more, and this drive made her leave Cape Town for Soweto in 1981 to pursue her career in singing.
She joined a couple of bands including Brenda and the Big Dudes. As a young lady, she was enticed in falling in love with a fellow and later had a son. She moved on in marrying Nhlanhla Mbambo but got divorced a year later.
Brenda Fassie went solo and her songs were soul fulfilling. The music was felt in her voice and facial expressions. People could connect to her tone of music because her songs were about real life.
She was referred to as Black Madonna at the Townships and also Queen of African pop. The Queen of vocal embodied a strong stage presence and when it came to political matters in South Africa she was outspoken.
Her career witnessed a major setback, following her addiction to cocaine.
Regardless of her struggle, Brenda produced more songs that were felt in most African countries. In her struggle, she witnessed her female lover, Poppie Sihlahla die of an apparent overdose. Brenda’s addiction to the substance led her to attend rehabilitation clinics about 30 times in her life.
Despite her struggle, she went on to produce the best solo albums that won awards.
Her addiction had a damaging effect on her when she collapsed at her home and was immediately taken to the hospital. She suffered cardiac arrest and slipped into coma. It was revealed through a postmortem report that she took overdose of cocaine.
The artiste had visitations from public office holders including, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, and Thabo Mbeki.
The renown artiste died on 9th May 2004, at age 39. On March 2006 a life-size bronze sculpture was made to celebrate her as a legend that did not only affect South Africans with her songs but also impacted other African countries.