After a three-year battle with anal cancer‚ musician Koyo Bala waved the earth goodbye yesterday around 9am at the Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa surrounded by his three sisters.
The 36-year-old singer was part of pop gay trio 3Sum – a pop band comprised of Bala‚ Amstel Maboa and the deceased Jeff Moyo – who had a hit with ‘Butterfly’. They were known in the entertainment industry as activists for gay rights.
According to his cousin Linda Bala‚ the musician was “admitted to hospital on Sunday around 4pm after he complained about pain”. This was two hours since landing in Cape Town from a trip to Johannesburg‚ where he was staying with his long-term friend and group member‚ Maboa.
“We suspect that his kidney had failed and he relapsed. When he came back from Johannesburg he went to see his doctor and was immediately admitted‚ but this morning we were told that akasekho (he is no more)‚” said the cousin.
In 2011‚ Bala disclosed that he was HIV-positive to the country‚ a decision he in 2014 told Sunday Times had “cost him work”. In 2014 he was diagnosed with anal cancer and decided to move back home last year where he started chemotherapy – a journey he widely shared in images‚ videos and messages with his social media followers.
His last tweet about his illness was on February reads: “I pray 2 God everyday 2 help me pass this cancer #itshard #pains #wontgiveup #canwinthisbattle #cantsleepofpains”.