Fans of Lerato “Lira” Molapo (44) are praying for her speedy recovering after the South African songstress had suffered a stroke while in Germany for a performance.
Molapo’s family broke the news that the singer had suffered a “severe” stroke on Tuesday evening in a statement on Instagram.
A stroke occurs when blood vessels carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain suddenly become blocked or burst. When this happens, part of the brain can’t get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so the affected brain cells die.
According to the Sunday World Molapo was set to hit the stage of the Miss Bachelorette South Africa beauty pageant on 23 April at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.
As a result of the stroke, Molapo’s ability to communicate and speech has been impacted, her family said in the statement on the singer’s Instagram. “She is currently undergoing treatment here in South Africa, led by the best medical team available.”
Molapo’s medical team has further advised that her journey to recovery will require patience and explained that she will be unable to take to the stage for a short term.
“Lira is in good spirits and is surrounded by her loving family and close friends as she journeys towards a full recovery. We thank you all in advance for your prayers, support, kindness and utmost sensitivity and consideration during this very challenging time in her life.”
An Mzansi icon
Molapo is a revered performer across Mzansi and the world. “I love connecting with my audience…I am a dynamic performer,” the “Feel Good” hitmaker told US-based magazine Essence in 2020.
She is also the first African woman to have a Barbie doll made in her likeness. The Lira doll is part of Mattel’s global campaign celebrating inspirational women in 2019.
Fans took to social media on Tuesday evening to express their shock.
It can happen to anyone
Having a stroke can be a life changing experience but remember almost all stroke survivors will recover to some extent. If you had a stroke you can go on to lead a normal meaningful life with the correct rehabilitation.
According to the Western Cape department of health, “anyone is at risk of having a stroke”.
The symptoms of stroke often include:
- The sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion
- Sudden loss of speech, or trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden loss of vision
- Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or trouble with walking
- Sudden severe or unusual headache
People most at risk of getting a stroke:
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa, some risk factors for stroke are out of your control, like your gender, age and family history. However, many stroke risk factors are lifestyle related and can include:
- Physical activity
- Body weight
- Alcohol use
- Blood pressure