These African music stars died before they could become global stars

Business Insider Sub Saharan Africa takes a look back at the promising and legendary African talents that tragically left us much too early

DJ Arafat

They may all come from different genres and backgrounds, but their loss leave a major emptiness in the world of music.

Although some singers and rock stars did not live to 25, they did live long enough to secure a lasting legacy in music history.

All the musicians on this list died in unfortunate and horrific circumstances. Whatever the case, they have all earned their spots on this list of the greatest musicians who died before 25.

Business Insider Sub Saharan Africa takes a look back at the promising and legendary talent that tragically left us much too early

Sharon Wangwe (Lady S) – Kenya

She was one of the most talented female rappers in the Kenyan music scene. Born in Bungoma, Kenya, Sharon Wangwe worked her way up in a male dominated industry. She became sick in 2005 from a kidney ailment but bounced back. Unfortunately, she died on September 3, 2007, from a car collision.

Oladapo Olaitan Olaonipekun (DaGrin) – Nigeria

Oladapo Olaitan Olaonipekun also known as DaGrin, was a Nigerian rapper born on October 25, 1987. He hailed from Ogun. He was best known for the singles “Pon Pon Pon” and “Kondo.” Olaonipekun had an affinity for rapping in Pidgin English, Yoruba, and English.

The film Ghetto Dreamz was an adaptation of his life and was released in April 2011. Olaonipekun died on April 22, 2010, from a car accident.

Terrence Nii Okang Mensah Adjetey (Terry Bonchaka) – Ghana

Bonchaka, born Terrence Nii Okang Mensah Adjetey, had burst onto the music scene as young artiste and most sought after artiste at the time of his death.

Bonchaka died in an accident in the early hours of October 30, 2003 aged 21. His car hit a tree when he was returning from a musical concert he headlined at the University of Ghana campus.

Though he was only active in the music industry for just about two years, he made a lot of waves with his 'old school' dressing and 'poulele' dance.

Issah Mmari Wangui (E-Sir) – Kenya

E-Sir whose real name is Issah Mmari Wangui was born on 20th May 1981 in California Estate in Eastlands, Nairobi and raised in South C estate and died on 16th March 2003. He was a Kenyan Hip hop musician. E-Sir died in a road accident on March 16, 2003, while in the company of fellow label mate Nameless.

Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng (Ebony Reigns) – Ghana

Ebony Reigns was born as Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng on February 16, 1997. Self-dubbed as the “90’s bad girl” Opuku-Kwarteng was a dance-hall/afro-beats vocalist. She won several awards in her short but prosperous career. Though criticized for her raunchy lyrics and daring wardrobe, she was fearlessly outspoken about sexuality and women’s rights. She died on February 9, 2018 in a car accident.

Ange Didier Huon (DJ Arafat) - Côte d'Ivoire

DJ Arafat passed away in a fatal motorcycle accident August 12, 2019, at the age of 33. He died at the main hospital in Abidjan with a fractured skull after his motorcycle collided with a car.

DJ Arafat’s music were well patronised in Francophone Africa and he was referred by many as the “King” of Coupe-decale (cut and run), an Ivorian form of dance music.

Known for hit songs such as “Dosabado”, “Kpangor”, “Zoropoto”, “Enfant Beni” and “Moto Moto”, DJ Arafat symbolised the flashy, well-dressed lifestyle associated with music and musicians.

Most of his songs feature fast percussion, deep bass and hip-hop style of vocals.


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