Bheka Beekay Mchunu Ukhozi FM Presenter, Passes Away

BY: JUBILANT CHEYEZA BALOYI

Ukhozi FM radio DJ Bheka Mchunu, best known as Beekay, passed away at the age of 45 on Tuesday, 12 March 2024, after a long illness. Hailing from Dondotha, Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, he graduated from Durban University of Technology with a National Diploma in Language Practice. Mchunu was a legendary figure in the South African broadcasting industry, known for his captivating voice, infectious laugh, and dedication to his craft. He joined Ukhozi FM in 1994 and quickly became one of the station’s most popular presenters after working for Izwi Lomzansi, a community radio station in Durban. He used to host the Akulalwa show from 23:00 to 02:00 before being moved to the midday show from 12:00 to 15:00.

Over the years, Mchunu hosted several popular shows on Ukhozi FM, including “Isibaya Sesimanje” and “Imvelo Yami”. He was known for his ability to connect with his audience on a personal level, sharing stories, laughter, and insights. One of Mchunu’s friends and former Ukhozi presenter, Linda Siyaba, wrote a heartfelt message to his former friend, sending condolences to Mchunu’s family, friends, and fans. In a heart-rending salutation, Sibiya expressed his sorrow to Mchunu’s family, friends, and fans.

“Losing my brother and friend is painful to me and my family. May Macingwane rest in peace. I will pay my respects should the opportunity arise,” shared Sibaya, paying his tribute with a disheartening video capturing wonderful moments with Mchunu.

Mchunu’s passing is a great loss to the South African broadcasting community and to the millions of listeners who enjoyed his shows. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues, family, and fans. Mchunu battled with the illness for a long time, which he didn’t disclose to the public for years. After he collapsed at the station during a show, he then tried to seek more medical attention but never received any medical help willing to cure his illness, despite many efforts to regain his health. Sharing his medical journey with ZiMoja, in his own words, he reflected on the journey in seeking medical assistance through different doctors and traditional healers.

“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 added.

Aside from being a presenter, Mchunu contributed a lot to his community, empowering them in education and commitment. He also created educational equity manifested in the establishment of KZN Matric Excellence, a platform aimed at empowering matriculants to pursue tertiary education by providing opportunities for academic improvement.

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