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Remembering the Queen of Pop: Brenda 'MaBrr' Fassie

On lessons of self-love

It’s been 14 years since Brenda Nokuzola ‘MaBrr’ Fassie passed on and, as cliché as it may sound, her legacy lives on. Yesterday social media was ablaze with tributes to the late superstar and her musical legacy.

The Brenda Fassie Estate that is led by Vaughn Eaton commemorates the death of the late singer. ‘We wish to celebrate her life and pass condolences to all those who have lost parents and loved ones this year. Let’s enjoy her music, her legacy and vibrant life that she left us to remember her by,’ he said.

Brenda Fassie

Gallo Images

‘May 9 marks a very important day as we lost our most favourite superstar Brenda. Let’s celebrate her life by cherishing her music and legacy that she left for us to enjoy.’

We wish to dedicate this day to her contribution to society.’

MaBrr’s Life

Born into a musical family (her mother was a pianist), the Queen of African Pop as dubbed by Time magazine, at the age of five she was already singing for tourists and making money. At about 13, she hitchhiked to Johannesburg to gain access to more opportunities. She immediately reached stardom status by her teenage years and her songs were township anthems debuted by her hit single Weekend Special at just 19.

Lessons from Brenda Fassie

In all of MaBrr’s life, there’s one thing I’ll always remember her by (apart from her music) and that’s reaffirming and teaching all of us self-love before it was a social media trend. In all her glory, Brenda lived her life fully and her whole being belonged to herself, and herself only. She’s taught us what it means to exist in your body and fully live on your own terms.

Her son, Bongani Fassie has been a core and consistent part of those teachings. From a very young age, the idea of self has always been instilled in him profoundly.

When listening to any of Brenda’s interviews, it’s as if she’s deliberately exonerating any self-hate from within herself and in ourselves.

Although the late Fassie can physically no longer create anthems, we’ll nostalgically bump and grind to all the amazing music she’s blessed us with during her life. Your life was impeccable and you’ll forever be a constant reminder of our childhood, while reminding us to live our lives on our own terms.

Rest in Power, Brenda Nokuzola ‘MaBrr’ Fassie.

Here’s a video of Brenda affirming her love for herself:

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