Image belongs to Gee Six Five

Singer Gee Six Five real name, Nkosingiphile Olpha Selepe, of 'Obani Lababantu' hit song.

Beloved South African Artist Gee Six Five Has Died

South Africans are mourning the death of 65-year-old Gee Six Five who has reportedly died from COVID-19. Gee Six Five was known for her amapiano hit song 'Obani Lababantu'.

South African academic and breakout amapiano artist, Gee Six Five has reportedly died. According to News24 Gee Six Five, real name Nkosingiphile Olpha Selepe passed away this Wednesday morning from COVID-19. Tributes and condolences have been pouring in from South Africans who have been following Gee Six Five's sudden amapiano career. The 65-year-old PhD candidate became famous after trending on Twitter following her viral hit song "Obani Lababantu". Gee Six Five's official Twitter account released a statement detailing that she was self-isolating at the time of her death, this after receiving a positive COVID-19 diagnosis only two days ago.

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Selepe reportedly died in the early hours of the morning after a short battle with COVID-19. South African award winning magazine editor, Sbu Mpungose who is Gee Six Five's niece confirmed the passing of her aunt. According to the Sowetan, Mpungose in a heartfelt tweet wrote a tribute that commends Gee Six Five for the "fearlessness" she carried throughout her life. EWN reports that the Mayor of Newcastle in the province of KwaZulu Natal, Ntuthuko Mahlaba, extended condolences to the community where Selepe hails from.

"Obani Lababantu" inspired many South Africans because of Gee Six Five's courage to create a song in a very youthful musical genre. Selepe coined her stage name from her age and her elderly status. She was a retired school teacher and PhD candidate. "Obani Lababantu" means "who are these people" in the Zulu language. Selepe revealed that "Obani Lababantu" was a song of motivation to people who have self-limiting beliefs and are afraid to do anything out of fear of being ridiculed. However, some on Twitter intimated that it was also a comic interrogation of academic research requirements for citations and references.

Gee Six Five shortly rose to fame within weeks of releasing "Obani Lababantu" last month which shot up South Africa's iTunes Top 20. The single trended on Twitter and the warm woman was suddenly in a stream of interviews. The song offered comic relief and bridged generations in South Africa as Gee Six Five encouraged all South Africans to take hold of their dreams.

Selepe was an educationalist and had reportedly released an album of Zulu nursery rhymes before her sudden fame. She reportedly obtained her Masters degree at the extraordinary age of 63. The singer revealed that she anticipated to graduate in 2022 with her PhD in Education from the University of KwaZulu Natal. She performed live only once and according to News24 had stated that the song would be her last project.

South Africans are admittedly saddened by the news of the artist's passing. Here are some of their reactions below:

Photo by Samuel Martins via Afro Nation

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