South Africa is still reeling from the news that “Loliwe” hitmaker Zahara passed away on Monday, 11 December, following a stay in hospital. The cause of death is still unknown, however, according to reports, Zahara’s life was cut short by liver complications.
The SABC initially verified the devastating news of Zahara’s death on Monday evening. Later, the minister of sports and culture, Zizi Kodwa, also confirmed that the beloved composer and vocalist, Zahara Bulelwa Mkutukana (36), passed away.
In recent weeks, it has been reported that the “country girl” had been hospitalised and was in a critical state.
A family statement, issued on 27 November 2023 on Zahara’s Facebook page, stated: “We want to take this opportunity as a family to express gratitude for the outpouring of love, support and compassion for our dearest Zahara since the recent media article about the nature of her health. Zahara has been admitted to the hospital for a week following complaints about physical pains, the doctors are working diligently, and we await further updates from them.”
The statement also specified that any reliable information would be communicated through her official social media sites personally, then.
Possible cause of death – liver issues
There have been various reports indicating that Mkutukana experienced liver health issues.
Dr Dineo Sefoloko, who operates #Keready mobile clinics and originates from Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, states that the liver is a robust and essential organ with several crucial functions, including cleansing your blood, aiding in digestion, and storing energy for when you need it.
She also asserts that occasionally, despite implementing all the right things, life might unexpectedly present challenges.
Sefoloko says a family history of diseases, as well as random infections and autoimmune disorders, in which the body attacks its cells, can all play a role.
“Some of the big lifestyle culprits that can cause liver problems include alcohol and substance abuse, eating a diet consisting of fatty foods, viruses such as hepatitis A, B and C, and certain medications or toxins.”
She shares that there are vaccines for some types of hepatitis, and regular checkups from healthcare centres that can catch liver issues early before they get worse.
Sefoloko suggests the following measures to maintain the health of your liver:
- If you are drinking alcohol, drink in moderation. If you are dealing with any liver issues, it is important to avoid alcohol completely.
- Stick to a balanced diet with lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and proteins.
- Exercise regularly.
- Make sure to practice good hand hygiene at all times and boil water if you stay in an area without access to unlimited clean water to avoid some of the viruses that spread through ingestions and faeces.
- Since hepatitis can be sexually transmitted, be sure to have safe sex.
- Don’t share needles, razors, or toothbrushes, because these can pass infections that harm the liver.
- Check with your doctor before you take any over-the-counter medications when you are uncertain if they may affect your liver.
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