‘Please Help’: Former Soweto Gospel Choir Star Sparks Concern

‘Please Help’: Former Soweto Gospel Choir Star Sparks Concern

From Global Fame to Desperate Streets: The Troubling Story of Lehakwe Crystal Tlali

A recent video of former Soweto Gospel Choir singer Lehakwe Crystal Tlali has gone viral, raising alarm and concern among fans and the public. The footage shows the once-celebrated artist in a state of distress, roaming the streets of Qwaqwa in the Free State, and has left many questioning how such a talented individual could end up in such dire circumstances.

The Viral Video

The disturbing clip was posted on TikTok by content creator Jerry Maya, who works for the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. Maya encountered Lehakwe Tlali while attending an event and was shocked to see the former gospel star in such a condition. In the video, Lehakwe is seen barefoot, disheveled, and smoking a cigarette. She still possesses the voice that once captivated audiences worldwide, but her current state is a far cry from her days of glory.

“This is Lehakwe Tlali. She used to sing for the Soweto Gospel Choir. Please help her,” Maya captioned the video, which quickly garnered significant attention online. When asked what happened to her, Lehakwe responded, “You tell me,” leaving viewers with more questions than answers.

The video has prompted a wave of reactions from social media users, many expressing their shock and sadness at seeing the talented woman in such a vulnerable state. Comments reflected a mix of empathy and a call to action, with many urging for help to be provided to Lehakwe.

A Star’s Fall from Grace

Lehakwe Crystal Tlali’s story is a poignant reminder of how quickly fortunes can change. She was a prominent member of the Soweto Gospel Choir, renowned for her powerful rendition of “Modimo Re Boka Wena.” The choir itself is a celebrated ensemble, having won two Grammy awards in 2007 and 2008 for Best Traditional World Music Album.

In 2004, during the choir’s UK tour, Lehakwe was interviewed by the Manchester Evening News. At just 16 years old, she had already made a name for herself, having been singing since the tender age of three. In the interview, Lehakwe shared her early struggles and how singing became a means of survival.

“I send money home to my mother. When I was young, we survived because I went out on to the streets to sing. My mother was on her own – my father left when I was very small – so I used what God gave me to help us eat and keep a roof over our heads,” she recounted.

Her talent and perseverance saw her traveling with the Soweto Gospel Choir to Europe, Asia, and Australia. She shared her awe at her rise to fame, recalling moments of performing with international stars like Bono and Anastasia and meeting Nelson Mandela.

“I can’t believe what’s happened to me. When I was on stage with Bono and Anastasia, I thought I was dreaming. When I met Nelson Mandela, my heart nearly stopped. I never thought I would leave my hometown, let alone my country,” she said.

Unanswered Questions

Despite her early success and international acclaim, it remains unclear when and why Lehakwe left the Soweto Gospel Choir. The details of her subsequent life remain murky, with the recent video sparking speculation and concern about her wellbeing.

Public Reaction and Pleas for Help

The heartbreaking video has prompted a strong reaction from the public. Comments on social media reflect a deep sense of empathy and a desire to see Lehakwe receive the support she needs. “I see a lot of pain in her face. She is going through something so heartbreaking,” one user wrote. Others echoed sentiments of spiritual attack and the harsh realities of life that can affect anyone.

“We all deserve a second chance in life,” another user posted, sharing an old video of Lehakwe leading the Soweto Gospel Choir in song, a reminder of her incredible talent and the heights she once reached.


Lehakwe Crystal Tlali’s story is a stark reminder of the fragility of fame and the human cost of personal and professional struggles. As the video of her current state continues to circulate, it serves as a call to action for those who can provide assistance and support. The public’s outcry underscores a collective hope that Lehakwe can find the help she needs to reclaim her life and continue to share her extraordinary gift with the world.

The former gospel star’s plight highlights broader issues of mental health, the pressures of fame, and the importance of community support in times of crisis. As fans and fellow South Africans rally to her side, there is hope that Lehakwe Tlali’s story will have a positive turn, and she will once again find her voice, both in song and in life.

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