South Africans responded with shock and sadness to the news of gospel musician Lundi Tyamara's death on Friday. A statement from his family confirmed that the 38-year-old died at the Edenvale Hospital in Johannesburg from complications related to stomach TB and a liver condition.
A memorial service for Tyamara was held at Grace Bible Church in Soweto on Tuesday. The church came under fire last week after TV personality Somizi stormed out of a sermon that he labeled homophobic. Following the outcry, representatives from the church said that gay people would still be welcome at the church and said that the sermon by visiting Bishop Dag Heward-Mills was not hate speech. However, Tyamara was an openly gay man and having his service held at the church has raised a few eyebrows.
Lundi's memorial service to be held in Grace Bible Church after the very same church accepted a homophobic pastor to their midst.— Mohau Tutubala (@howzeza) January 31, 2017
I am sorry but I cannot over the irony of the Grace Bible Church hosting Lundi's memorial service— Pal Mabelane (@BGF013) January 31, 2017
So Lundi's memorial service is at Grace Bible Church? What are the odds!— Pino Grigio (@ElethuMapasa) January 31, 2017
But Grace bible church congregation said they dont want gays in their church....this is so confusing— Imbongikazi yeSizwe (@ntsikimazwai) January 31, 2017
Over the past few days, tributes have poured in for the gospel singer. They have included words of condolence from government officials, gospel industry peers and prominent personalities in South African entertainment.
We send our condolences to the loved ones and fans of Gospel Star Lundi Tyamara. His passing is a great loss to our country & continent. pic.twitter.com/mSAvzyLsK7— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) January 27, 2017
President Jacob Zuma extends heartfelt condolences on the passing of gospel music star, Mr Lundi Tyamara. https://t.co/Ato6x6itM8— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) January 27, 2017
Death robs us yet again #RipLundi— Kwela Tebza (@kwelatebza) January 27, 2017
The details for Tyamara's funeral have not been verified. The Huffington Post South Africa will update this story when the information becomes available.