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Notable deaths of 2022

Story by Oleen Ndori, Foreign Editor

From monarchs to Presidents, fashion icons, musicians and philanthropists, the year 2022 had its own fair share of losses.

The death of a single person might represent the passage of an entire era, be it with Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reign in the history of the British monarchy or with Mikhail Gorbachev, the end of the Cold War.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II was perhaps the one single event that brought the world to a standstill, alongside the passing on of football legend Pele on the 29th of December.

Queen Elizabeth II died at her Balmoral estate in Scotland on the 8th of September after a record-breaking 70 years on the throne.

Her son, King Charles III, then acceded to the throne upon her death, and the United Kingdom held ten days of national mourning.

Remembered for his role in ending the Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev died on August 31. He had been in office between 1985 and 1991.

Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving Japanese prime minister, who made it his political mission to vanquish his country’s wartime ghosts was assassinated on the 8th of July in the city of Nara at the age of 67.

One of the richest monarchs in the world, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, died at the age of 73 on May 13.

Sheikh Khalifa was President of the UAE since 2004 after succeeding his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi.

In the first decade of his rule, he presided over a major restructuring of the federal government and that of Abu Dhabi.

Former Angolan president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos died on the 8th of July after a long illness in Barcelona Spain.

He was the successor to the first Angolan president, Agostinho Neto, and became his chief diplomat upon independence in 1975. When Neto died in 1979, he was invested as head of state by the party, of which he became president.

Fashion icon Issey Miyake, one of the first Japanese designers to showcase in Paris and whose pleated style of clothing allowed for freedom of movement and name became a global byword for cutting-edge fashion in the 1980s, died on the 5th of August in Tokyo. He was 84.

Miyake’s designs appeared everywhere, from morning to night, from factory floors he designed a uniform for workers at the Japanese electronics giant Sony to black tie dances.

South Africa’s Iconic gospel singer Deborah Fraser left many reeling in shock after her sudden death on the 15th of May after a short illness.

A few days later on the 23rd of May, popular Thespian Jamie Bartlett, who was known for his portrayal of David Genaro on Rhythm City, died after suffering cardiac arrest. Bartlett was hailed as one of the most distinguished villains that Mzansi had ever anticipated.

The world woke up to the sad news of the death of renowned American Hip Hop artist and Producer, Coolio on the 29th of September. He was reported to have been found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a friend’s house in Los Angeles. The hip-hop singer shot to fame with the hit song Gangstas Paradise which almost became a global anthem.

Arguably his biggest song, Gangstas Paradise earned the rapper a Grammy award in 1996 and his death came exactly 51 days after celebrating 27 years of the hit song that shot him to fame.

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