“Is Brenda Fassie still alive?”
His search for answers to the question will be the focus of the next episode of his show, “Finding Bongani Fassie.”
The singer has been reflecting on the dramatic decline in his music and family dynamic since his mother’s death. A pending inquest into her death will help shed light on her last moments.
When Brenda Fassie was young, she was a member of the Big Dudes, a popular township music group.
Her mother was an amateur pianist who named her after country music singer Brenda Lee. She began singing at church events at the age of four, accompanied by her mother on the piano.
When she was sixteen, she moved to Soweto, where she fronted her first band, Brenda And The Big Dudes.
After launching her career, Fassie’s personal life was controversial. She had several high-profile affairs with men from her township, and she struggled with cocaine addiction.
She also missed concert dates and began living a life of excess. In 1995, she was found unconscious next to her dead girlfriend, Poppie Sihlahla. Later, Fassie entered rehab and went back for several visits.
Her personal life has been widely reported.
She married Nhlanhla Mlambo in 1989. The couple filed for divorce in 1990, and Brenda and the conman allegedly broke up after three months.
She was also accused of stealing money from Karen Baker, her longtime manager. Eventually, she went to a drug rehab center. She subsequently left SA. So, is Brenda Fassie alive?