After a three-year battle with anal cancer (cancer of the anus)‚ South African musician Koyo Bala died yesterday at about 9am at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, surrounded by his three sisters.
The 36-year-old singer, who was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2012, was also HIV positive and had undergone surgery, chemotherapy and radiation in the past years.
Bala was part of gay pop trio 3Sum, made up of Bala‚ Amstel Maboa and the late Jeff Moyo, who died in 2010‚ reportedly from HIV/Aids-related complications. They were known in the entertainment industry as activists for gay rights, and to have staged a brave fight against cancer.
In 2012 Bala went for an operation to remove piles but after several tests, he was told that he didn’t have piles, but cancer. He was at the time treated with radiation and chemotherapy for six weeks, but his doctors recently referred him to physicians at the Victoria Hospital in Cape Town, where he was supposed to have surgery in the coming weeks. Before his death, he confirmed that the anal cancer had returned.
Bala was diagnosed with cancer a few months after he publicly admitted that he was HIV positive, saying the doctors told him they were surprised he had the cancer because it is something that is more prevalent in women.
His long-time friend Ephraim “Ephymol” Molingoana, confirmed his death to fans, saying they were devastated and in state of disbelief because Bala always kept a positive outlook and remained strong throughout his illness.
During an interview with Daily Sun earlier this year, Bala said he was not going to let his cancer get him down.
He was reported to have said:
I believe this year holds great things for me.
I’m still battling cancer but I told myself I won’t let it rule my life. When I’m lying in my bed feeling terrible pain I tell myself I will wake up in the morning and use my time positively.
Last month, the singer 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.