South African rapper Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known as HHP (Hip Hop Pantsula), has died. His wife, who doubles as his publicist, has confirmed the news to local media.
The award-winning artist, 38, is seen as the man who made South African hip hop popular, singing in indigenous languages, at a time when most local artists were imitating American-style rap.
Thousands of South Africans have taken to social media to pay their respects to him.
The circumstances of his death have not been confirmed but HHP had openly struggled with depression in recent years.
South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, has also expressed its condolences.
“The ANC joins millions of South Africans in paying tribute to this music icon who became a beacon of hope and inspired many artists, and individuals in our country,” it said in a statement.