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S Africa mourns death of musician who worked for Hindu-Muslim unity

Press Trust of India  |  Johannesburg 

The South African community is the demise of Hassan, who changed his Muslim birth name to foster communal harmony in the country through his music.

Hassan, aged 73, considered the face of Hindu-Muslim unity in South Africa, died of heart attack on Saturday.

He had changed his Muslim birth name of Saib to because he wanted to foster harmony between Hindus and Muslims living in through music.

had planned a series of comeback shows over the next few months.

He started performing at the age of 14, belting out cover versions of popular songs of singers like and among others. He later shifted his skills to singing in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Urdu and the indigenous languages -- Afrikaans, and Sesotho.

In the early 1990's, boosted by the national public broadcast radio station Lotus, Hassan became a household name with a song about how his wife had reacted in Tamil when she saw him with an another girl.

He toured throughout and became one of the first local artists to stage a show at the then biggest entertainment venue in southern Africa, the Sun City.

The song remains a favourite of bands playing at Indian weddings here, decades later.

Like almost all South African Indian musicians, Hassan could not afford to depend financially on his performances only, so he also had business interests alongside the singing profession.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 14 2018. 13:25 IST