Several videos of rapper Costa Tsobanoglou, also known as Costa Titch, have gone viral after he died during his performance at the Ultra Music Festival in Jozi last night. While the cause of death has not yet been confirmed, Costa Titch reportedly had a history of epilepsy and it is suspected that he was triggered by the stage’s flashing lights.
In one of the videos shared by festivalgoers, the Nelspruit-born artist is seen collapsing on stage. Although he continues performing after being helped back up by security guards, he collapses for a second time, ultimately leading to his death.
News of his death was first reported on social media by entertainment commentator Phil Mphela, EFF leader Julius Malema, and fellow artist Junior de Rocka. Costa Titch was a well-loved Amapiano star whose hits included “Big Flexa,” “Nkalakatha,” and “Activate”.
Aged 28, the rapper reportedly had a history of epilepsy which is a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed causing seizures. Epilepsy South Africa says photosensitive epilepsy is an uncommon condition affecting one in every 10 000 people.
Their epileptic seizures are caused by flashing or flickering lights (usually of a high intensity) and/or certain patterns, like stripes.
Costa Titch first made waves as a dancer from Mpumalanga who later ventured into rapping. He gained popularity by posting his dance skills on social media and through his unique rapping style in the way he uses isiZulu and English. His dance skills and music has gained him various nominations and awards, including a nomination for Best New International Act at the 2021 BET Awards.
He recently received a major co-sign and signed a deal with Akon’s label Konvict Culture who predicted that he would be a “game changer”. He moreover celebrated the continuous success of “Big Flexa” after featuring Akon on the remix. Furthermore, his “Nkalakatha Remix” features AKA and Ricky Rick, both of whom died in the last two years.
In the meantime, tributes continue to pour in on social media following the death of the multi-award-winning rapper. His family confirmed his death in a statement, thanking South Africans for the love and support that has been shown for their son.