The announcement of their (Leqela used they/them pronouns) death was made by YFM on Wednesday night.
Leqela’s cause of death is yet to be confirmed.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the untimely passing of our beloved Lumko “Johnson” Leqela. They departed on 14 September 2022,” YFM said in a statement.
“Lumko first entered the public realm as a young teenager on the popular SABC 1 YoTV platform. They went on to nurture a career in television broadcast, radio production, and media at large," the statement continued.
In their own words, Lumko was an “accomplished TV and radio super producer, actor, writer and big deal in most spaces”.
YFM said this is a loss to the LGBTQIA+ community, Leqela’s family and the broadcast and television community.
“Lumko lived a life filled with purpose and authenticity. As we process this shock as a community, let us remember their light in this world. Details on memorial and funeral arrangements will be shared by the family in due course. The family asks that the public and media respect their privacy as they deal with this difficult loss," said YFM.
Earlier this year YFM announced the launch of Tequila AF a show written and produced by Leqela.
“My late great-grandmother introduced me to radio through radio dramas she loved and followed. We didn’t have a TV at the time, I must’ve been four or five and we would gather and listen to the Xhosa stories every night before bed. I trust and believe in this story and commend Y for introducing something so cool to its audience,” Leqela said.
Tributes to Leqela have poured in on social media.