March 13, 2024

Ukhozi FM presenter Bheka Mchunu has passed away

Beekay Mchunu is no more

Ukhozi FM presenter and businessman Bheka 'Beekay' Mchunu passed away at a clinic late yesterday after a long illness. Beekay, who hails from Mevamhlophe outside Empangeni in KwaZulu Natal, has been in and out of hospital since 2020.


In December 2022, Beekay was taken off air when he fell sick during his weekend maskandi show Sigiya Ngengoma. The seasoned radio presenter had said at the time that he had an unbearable pain in his throat. Two months earlier in October 2022, his show abruptly ended when he fainted and the producers had to play music. In 2021, the presenter was off air for more than three weeks after spending time in hospital and had to be replaced by Khetha Gwala. A source who spoke to ZiMoja said that Beekay had been in and out of hospital since 2020. There was even a time where he had to go back home to be taken care of by his family and spent months without working. Beekay also confirmed his illness to ZiMoja. "I think it is no longer just a normal illness but I'm recovering well at my place here in Durban. My brother is trying everything to get me the best traditional healer to deal with this directly. I have tried many doctors, and they don't see anything wrong." he said at the time.


A family member said Beekay became seriously ill yesterday afternoon and was rushed to the Esikhawini Clinic, where he sadly passed away. He owned a school in the area. "We rushed him to the local clinic because he suddenly fell seriously ill. He passed on at the clinic while the nurses where still busy with him," said the family member.


SABC confirmed the news in a statement. "Beekay, as he was affectionately known, was a cherished member of the SABC family and a beloved co-host of one of Ukhozi FM's most prominent show Sigiya Ngengoma. Throughout his tenure on the airwaves, Beekay's vibrant personality and unwavering passion for music brought joy to countless listeners," Mmoni Seapolelo said in the statement. She said Beekay joined Ukhozi FM in 2011 and worked on various shows. "His presence was not only felt through the waves but also within the hearts of those who tuned in, making him an indispensable part of the Ukhozi FM family. The SABC and Ukhozi FM would like to send heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and fans," Seapolelo added. She said the details of the memorial and funeral services will be communicated in due course.

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