Former Umhlobo Wenene star KCI ‘found unconscious at home’, SA mourns his death

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Joined: Oct 2016

Fans hailed the radio star, KCi, as “ahead of his time”.

Condolences have poured in for veteran radio broadcaster Mthobeli ‘KCi’ August, who died at his home in Johannesburg on Friday.

His death was confirmed by his family, who said he was found unconscious.

“It is with great sadness that the August family announces the passing of their son, Mthobeli KCi August.

“Mthobeli was a decorated radio presenter who enthralled audiences across South Africa with his unique style of presenting,” the family said in a statement.

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The family asked for privacy and said funeral arrangements would be announced soon.


KCi was a popular personality at Umhlobo Wenene FM despite controversy often following him. After making a name for himself at the station, he was suspended and then fired from the station for breaching its music policy and a dispute with the station. He later returned but was relegated from his drivetime slot amid claims of a decline in listenership and issues between himself and co-host Luyanda Gidane.

Speaking to Drum Magazine in 2016, KCi said he had gone through several difficulties but would die a happy man.

“I’m single and I’m just enjoying life. Even if I was to die right now‚ I would die a happy man.”

Controversy followed him again in 2021 when he failed to appear at a wedding in East London. He told Drum he was willing to pay the money back.

‘A fearless and principled broadcaster’

His larger-than-life personality and infectious spirit were remembered by many online, who flooded social media to pay tribute to him after news of his death.

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Among these, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) hailed him as “a revered radio broadcaster and an artistic soul”.

“KCi Mthobeli August’s remarkable contribution to the arts, particularly through his engaging skits on Umhlobo Wenene FM’s afternoon drive, stands as a testament to his unparalleled talent. He possessed the rare ability to captivate audiences during off-peak and homeward-bound hours, keeping them glued to their radios with his artistic brilliance.

“As a fearless and principled broadcaster, KCi Mthobeli August utilised his platform to stand firm for truth in his own unique way. His unwavering dedication to integrity, coupled with his exceptional storytelling prowess, made him a cherished figure among listeners and a stalwart in the broadcasting industry.

“His impact stretched beyond the airwaves, resonating deeply within the hearts of his audience and leaving an indelible mark on South Africa’s cultural landscape. KCi Mthobeli August’s commitment to his craft and his ability to infuse truth into his work set him apart as a beacon of honesty and authenticity.”

I’m so sad about KCi’s passing. He was always friendly, energetic and kind. A broadcaster extraordinaire. I remember how he always made a grand entrance at SABC radio park, greeting security, the cleaners, with a broad smile and joking with them as he went on with his busines……

— Khanyi Magubane (@Khanyi_Magubane) December 30, 2023

Kci Mthobeli August was ahead of his time, He was a Tik Toker before Tik Tok . He created a whole family using his own unique voice , playing different characters , Tamara , husband ” Jwara” and her son ” Munda ” including extras ” Frida and Lizzy ” , #RIPKCi

— Ice-t Piliso © (@Ice_tPiliso) December 30, 2023

KCi’s passing is so unreal. La bhuti was radio nje ezihambela. He was a broadcaster, a creative, an entertainer. He made me fall in love with radio ndisemncinci la bhuti. Yhooo!💔

— Xhosa Men Spokesperson (@AyabongaKekana) December 30, 2023

I wish he could see how much we appreciate and adore him
KCI raised us,he entertained us,he brought smiles to our faces#RIPKCi

— 𝓛𝓾 🥀 (@itsjustlue) December 30, 2023

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