Africa has recorded more 737 deaths from 13, 473 Covid-19 cases, the casualties from the epidemic cuts across class, nationalities and age groups. The death of a 6-year-old in Kenya and other youths from around the globe helped debunk the myth that the Coronavirus only affected the old.
Health organizations have spoken out strongly against the misconception that Coronavirus only affects the wealthy class and for some reason doesn’t affect or kill the poor. The number of deaths recorded so far and the classes of people involved show that the virus can affect and kill anyone regardless of class and status.
Every death from Coronavirus has brought so much pain and grief – not only to their families but the continent at large. Covid-19 has caused the deaths of top politicians – former presidents, prime ministers and lawmakers, to international entertainment icons and top sportsmen.
Below are 10 prominent Africans who have died from Covid-19:
Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule: A renowned Ghanaian physician has been lost to COVID-19. Local media portals reported his demis on Saturday. The death of Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule, occurred in the early hours of Friday (April 10) in the capital Accra at the University of Ghana Medical Centre, where he had been he had been admitted for a short period.
He was the Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, despite succumbing to COVID-19. A senior member of the Ghana Medical Association, (GMA) confirmed the death adding that Prof Plange-Rhule had an underlying medical condition.
Ahmed Ismail Hussein Hudeydi: Often referred to as “the father of modern Somali music”, Hudeydi was the second Somali in the early days to die of the COVID-19 pandemic. He died in London at the age of 92.
As “the King of Oud” – the instrument that he played – Hudeydi became a key figure “during the anti-colonial movement and decolonization period” in Somalia, according to Hanna Ali, director of the London-based Kayd Somali arts organization.
Mahmud Jibril: He was an Ex-Libyan PM who served after Gaddafi ouster. Jubril was the former head of the rebel government that overthrew Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. He died of the coronavirus in an Egyptian hospital. His party confirmed his death on April 5. ''68-year-old former Prime Minister was in Cairo where he had been hospitalized for two weeks,'' said Khaled al-Mrimi, secretary of the Alliance of National Forces party founded by Jibril in 2012.
Report shows that he was admitted on March 21 after suffering a heart attack, before testing positive of coronavirus and being quarantined. He served as head of the interim government in March 2011, a few weeks after the outbreak of the Arab Spring uprising in Libya.
Nur Hassan Hussein: He was an Ex-Somali Prime Minister. Last week, the Somalis united on Twitter to pay tribute to former Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, also known as “Nur Adde,” who died of coronavirus in London. The 82-year-old was prime minister between November 2007 and February 2009. He was a one-time attorney general under the tenure of President Siad Barre who was overthrown in 1991.
He also worked as a police officer and trained as a lawyer. Acquaintances hailed him for his hands-on leadership. “We extend our most profound condolences to the Somali people, friends and bereaved family of Somalia’s former Prime Minister, HE Nur Hassan Hussein who passed away in London, UK,” Somali PM posted on Twitter.
Pape Diouf: He was a renowned Senegalese journalist and sports administrator. Senegal mourned its first coronavirus death which came with extra pain because it involved an illustrious son of the land, journalist and sports administrator, Pape Diouf. The 68-year-old was a former president of the French soccer club Marseille between 2005 and 2009.
It was confirmed that he had been in intensive care in Dakar. Senegal President Macky Sall wrote on his official Twitter account that he had followed Diouf’s health closely after he was admitted for treatment.
Paying tribute to this great figure in sports,” Sall wrote. “I pay tribute to the medical staff at Fann Hospital who spared no effort to save him.” Relatives said Diouf was meant to be moved to France. He had recently traveled to several countries in the West Africa region.
Aurlus Mabele: He is referred to as the Congolese ‘King of Soukous’. In Central Africa, coronavirus claimed a music star from Congo reputed by his fans as ‘King of soukous’ – a high tempo dance music enjoyed across the continent.
Mabélé real name is Aurélien Miatsonama, was from Congo-Brazzaville and moved to France in the 1980s. He died in a Parisian hospital, aged 67. The announcement of his death according to Congolese local news site IciBrazza was first posted by his compatriot Mav Cacharel on Facebook. Announcing the news, he wrote ''evening everyone, I have sad news to announce the death of my famous friend, brother and collaborator Aurlus Mabélé, which happened this Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 14:00 G, in the Paris region, from the follow-up of (a) coronavirus (case),” Cacharel’s post read in part.
Yhombi-Opango: He was an Ex-Congolese president. In late March, a former president of the Republic of Congo died after contracting coronavirus. Jacques Joaquim Yhombi-Opango breathed his last at the age of 81 in a Paris hospital.
A family member confirmed that he had underlying health conditions before contracting the virus. Yhombi-Opango was president of Congo-Brazzaville from April 1977 until he was toppled in February 1979 by the current president Denis Sassou Nguesso.
Manu Dibango: Cameroonian Afro-jazz legend, Manu Dibango’s death is one that hit the continent and beyond. The ‘Soul Makossa’ author died at the age of 86. His family disclosed in a Facebook post that the singer and celebrated saxophonist’s death was as a result of the new coronavirus.
He is celebrated for one of the biggest planetary hits in world music, “Soul Makossa” (released in 1972). he was said to be the first global celebrity to die from the virus. He died in a Parisian hospital, manager of his music publishing business, Thierry Durepaire told AFP.
Mukendi Wa Mulumba: He was a top legal aide to the president of DR Congo. President Felix Tshisekedi lost a top legal aide to the virus. Jean-Joseph Mukendi Wa Mulumba was the acting head of the president’s legal advisory council. He is believed to have contracted the coronavirus whiles in France for a medical check-up.
Mulumba was a celebrated personality in the country’s harsh opposition terrain. As a reputed lawyer, he also championed numerous human rights causes. He was an aide to the president’s father and veteran opposition figure, the late Etienne Tshisekedi.
He also represented opposition politician Moïse Katumbi and others who opposed former President Joseph Kabila’s attempt to extend his term in office. Katumbi in a statement said he was inconsolable at the loss of a more than a lawyer and friend; a big brother and father.
Ms. Rose Marie Compaore: She is a top lawmaker and was Burkina Faso’s first COVID-19 casualty. March 17 March Burkina Faso recorded its first coronavirus death. The authorities confirmed that the patient was Ms. Rose Marie Compaore, who was the first vice president of the parliament. She died aged 62 and was said to have diabetes, an underlying health condition.
Marc Roch Kabore and Speaker of the National Assembly, Alassane Bala Sakande, were among those that sent condolences to the family via social media platform Twitter.
The tragic event calls us all to recognize the scale and seriousness of the problem which confronts us all,” said Martial Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso’s COVID-19 response coordinator. This is a very contagious illness that is potentially fatal and that for now has no treatment aside from prevention,” he stressed.