After suffering from from anal cancer for some years, South African gay singer and socialite, Koyo Bala, has died, as announced by his family and friends on Twitter.
The 37-year-old Bala, who was a member of the popular group, 3Sum, was also HIV positive and AIDS activist who had undergone undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Bala gave up the ghost on March 7, after battling the cancer for two years at Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town, according to his long-time friend Ephraim “Ephymol” Molingoana, who confirmed the news to his fans.
Molingoana told City Press that Bala wasn’t looking well when he dropped him off at OR Tambo International Airport on the way to the hospital:
“His condition had deteriorated. He couldn’t even walk, he had to use a wheelchair.”
Koyo, who disclosed his HIV status in 2012, had been living with the pains of the cancer for years and, according to close associates, had battled long and had trusted that God could heal him.
He once told a magazine that he was stronger that his HIV.
“HIV won’t be the end of me … I am HIV-positive and as a celebrity and someone who is openly gay it is important to come out.
I want to use my bubbly personality to help those struggling to come to terms with their status and instil a sense of hope.”
A month before he died, precisely on February 13, 2016, Bala had tweeted:
“I pray to God every day to pass this cancer. It’s hard, it pains, I’ll win this battle, I won’t give up. I can’t sleep of pain.”