It was on this day 12 years ago, in the early hours of the morning that Lebo Mathosa passed away in a car accident.
Lebo was geared to be the next Brenda Fassie in terms of pop culture influence and her loss left a gaping hole in the entertainment scene and the hearts of many.
9 years before her untimely death at 29, Lebo had made the decision to go solo and leave Boom Shaka, having risen to fame at the age of 15 alongside her group members.
A little known fact is that in the wake of their smash 1996 debut LP, It’s About Time, she successfully wrested copyright control of their publishing interests, thus setting a precedent for countless South African musicians to come.
Though many only saw a sexy young woman, Lebo proved time and time again that she was a powerhouse and could hold her own right up next to the Big Boys.
Post leaving the group she continued to soar, dropping her debut solo album Dream, followed by Drama Queen in 2004 then Lioness in 2006, the year of her death.
Lebo represented many things to many people but ultimately, she stood as a symbol of love, independence and fearlessness.
As a Black woman, she trampled on expectations and redefined herself with a fierceness we hadn’t seen since Brenda.
As an artist, her creativity, work ethic and showmanship were impeccable.
As a young African in a freshly “post apartheid” world, she represented hope.