THE local music fraternity yesterday mourned the sudden death on Monday of veteran traditional dancer and musician Phathisa Nyoni of Bulawayo’s Iluba Lemvelo Arts group who collapsed while performing on stage.
Nyoni (61) was with her group Sunday afternoon at the Airport beer garden when she collapsed before being rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital where she died on Monday morning.
Social networks Facebook and Twitter were awash with condolence messages from artistes in the entertainment industry as well as the public.
William Nyandoro the programmes officer for the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Bulawayo province said the void that has been left by Nyoni cannot be filled by any one as the industry has lost a heroine.
“She was a hardworking artiste who the industry depended upon as she was guiding up-and-coming artistes. The void she has left will not be filled by anyone” he said.
“I worked closely with MaNyoni in the women of Thandanani Arts Ensemble travelling to South Africa, Botswana and across the country on many assignments. Rest in peace mama, we are poorer today, eish”
Nkululeko Dube of Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts sent his message of condolences on Facebook.
Joseph Ngubo of Umkhathi Wemvelo, who also worked closely with the deceased said the works that Nyoni had done would be unparalleled as she managed to keep the genré of traditional dance and music alive.
“What a powerful artiste who kept the industry moving! Her works cannot be compared to any, as she managed to keep the industry moving. Her wish was to see more of traditional dance in the region from budding artistes.
May her soul rest in peace,” Ngubo said.
Burial arrangements for Nyoni will be announced in due course.