Lucky Dube’s musical journey began at a young age, dabbling in mbaqanga tunes in Zulu and Afrikaans before embracing reggae in 1984. Influenced by legends like Peter Tosh, Dube emerged as South Africa’s most renowned reggae artist. His album Prisoner skyrocketed to fame in the 1980s and 1990s after encounters with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.
In Ghana, his Serious Reggae Business collection sold like hotcakes, and Dube amassed over 20 prestigious awards globally. His life was marked by constant travel, but tragedy struck when he was fatally shot while appearing to fend off carjackers in a Johannesburg neighborhood. At just 43 years old, the reggae icon’s life was abruptly cut short.
Five individuals faced arrests in connection with Dube’s murder, with three of them convicted on March 31, 2009. The perpetrators claimed they shot Dube during a botched carjacking attempt, believing him to be Nigerian and unaware of his reggae fame. South African authorities corroborated the account, asserting that the reggae luminary was shot while dropping off his son in the Rosettenville neighborhood of Johannesburg.
A pivotal moment in the case came from Mpho Maruping, a state witness, who revealed her husband’s involvement in Dube’s ill-fated hijacking and divulged the tragic events of that night. Testifying before the Johannesburg High Court, Maruping recounted the heart-wrenching scene as Dube’s family wept in the background. Initially accused of the murder, her husband later turned state’s witness, shedding light on the shocking incident that took the life of the multi-award-winning superstar.