THE singer Chiwoniso Maraire has died aged 37.
Maraire died at the South Medical Hospital in Chitungwiza on Wednesday evening after being admitted with a lung infection, sources told New Zimbabwe.com.
The singer, who had been admitted for the last 10 days, was awaiting a lung biopsy which involves the sampling of cells or tissues to examine the extent of an infection, according to one family source.
News of the singer’s death broke on Twitter after her niece Chipochaishe Maraire tweeted: “Can’t believe my aunt is gone. RIP Chiwoniso Maraire.”
In reply to someone, she added: “I’m in shock. My mum just called to tell me now now... Sad but true, the mbira queen is gone.”
Several family and industry sources subsequently confirmed her death. Her former manager, Tsungi Zvobgo, said she was devastated.
Her manager at the time of death, Cosmas Zamangwe, said she checked into hospital 10 days ago complaining of chest pains.
He said the tests which were due to be conducted would have revealed the disease which was afflicting her.
"We suspect it is pneumonia,” he said.
The mbira star’s death comes just over a year after her ex-husband Andy Brown died. They had two children together – Chengeto and Chiedza.
An accomplished singer, songwriter, and exponent of Zimbabwean mbira music, Maraire, was born in 1976 in Olympia, United State of America.
She was the daughter of renowned Zimbabwean mbira player and teacher Dumisani Maraire. She spent the first seven years of her life in the United States.
When she moved back to Zimbabwe, she attended Mutare Girls' High School before taking Advanced Level evening classes at the University of Zimbabwe where her father was teaching.
Chiwoniso was honored with the Decouverte Afrique by Radio France International after releasing her debut album 'Ancient Voices' in 1998.
The album entered the World Music Charts Europe three times and brought her a nomination in the category Best Female Vocals of Africa for the KORA Award in 1999.
CHIWONISO MARAIRE: USA CHEME