Afrikaans singer dies, losing his battle against MS

Afrikaans singer dies, losing his battle against MS

The popular Afrikaans singer Thys Streicher, better known as Thys die Bosveldklong, died on Saturday evening around 22:00 in a Pretoria hospital after a long battle with multiple sclerosis (MS).

MS diagnosis

Thys, 49, was an Afrikaans comedian-singer, TV presenter, and radio announcer. Many South Africans were huge fans of Thys.

His health took a turn for the worse since he was diagnosed with MS in 2019. The diagnosis was made after he experienced symptoms for four years. Following the diagnosis, he was bedridden for a while due to the disease. After receiving treatment, his health improved and in 2022, he felt strong enough to take the stage again.

However, his health deteriorated again earlier this year. The Afrikaans singer contracted meningitis and kidney infection at the end of April. Additionally, he also suffered a stroke. Before being admitted to hospital, Thys was in a wheelchair and his mom took care of him.

Prior to his passing, the hospital moved him to the intensive care unit for 13 weeks. According to a family spokesperson, LJ, Thys was in a coma the past 13 weeks.

Thys die Bosveldklong passed away two days before his 50th birthday.

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic auto-immune disease that affects the central nervous system. It consequently affects muscles, speech, and mobility. Other symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness and difficulty walking or keeping balance. Vision problems, and numbness or weakness especially in the arms and legs, are additional symptoms.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes it as ‘a condition that happens when the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord’.

The condition results from an autoimmune attack on myelin, the fatty insulation that surrounds the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. It disrupts the electrical impulses sent through the nerves to the rest of the body. Medical experts do not yet know what triggers the immune system to attack myelin, but believe genetic and environmental factors play a role. Interestingly, it is more common in higher latitudes, possibly due to sun exposure and vitamin D.

Afrikaans singer Thys die Bosveldklong

Thys die Bosveldklong was especially popular for his sense of humour, silly songs, and comic representations. Some of his well-known songs include Jaloers-Bokkie and Ek Hou Nie Van Werk Nie, according to The Citizen.

The Afrikaans singer was also a co-presenter on kykNET’s TV programme Net vir die Grap. He won the Afri-Indie-music award last year for his song Blommetjie Blom.

This is the second child that his mother, Elize, had to say goodbye to as his brother, Piet, passed away in 2016 from cancer. She was caring for Thys since his diagnosis.

According to family spokesperson LJ, Thys’ mother is doing well under the circumstances.

“She specifically wants to thank the public and Thys’ friends and fans for all their prayers, assistance and love lately. She really appreciates it.”

Family spokesperson, LJ