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Tanzanian gospel musician Bahati Bukuku is not dead

Celebrities are often victims of premature obituaries. In July 2019, rumours spread on Facebook that Tanzanian gospel musician Bahati Bukuku was dead.

In one Facebook post is a photo of Tanzanian president, John Pombe Magufuli, supposedly writing in a condolence book for the “late Bahati”. On the same table are two large framed photos of the singer.

The caption of the photo reads: “Mazishi ya Bahati Bukuku Magufuli Afika Kutoa heshima za mwisho,” which translated into English means: “Magufuli arrives at Bahati Bukuku’s burial ceremony to pay his last respects.”

So, is it true? We checked.

Origin of this story

In 2014, Bukuku was involved in a bad road accident.  She injured her back and was admitted to Muhimbili hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Since then, false reports about her death appear on social media from time to time.

Reverse image search

A reverse image search of the photo of Magufuli leads us to Habari mpya za Leo (News Today), a Tanzanian news website. 

In a similar photo, Magufuli is also writing in a book. However, the photo placed on the table is not of Bahati Bukuku, but the sister of a member of parliament.

The caption says: “President of the United Republic of Tanzania Dr John Pombe Magufuli signing the Book of Lamentations soon after he arrived in Kimara for the end of the last day for the body of late Tryphosa Simon Sanga, who is a sister of Iringa MP, Pastor Peter Msigwa who died in Dar es Salaam.”

So while Magufuli was indeed signing a condolence book, it was not at Bukuku’s funeral. In a video uploaded by Masanja TV on 29 July 2019, Bukuku said she was in good health. – Grace Gichuhi  


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