Lily Tembo

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Lily Tembo
Lily Tembo.jpg
Background information
Birth nameLily Tembo
Also known asLily T
Born(1981-11-20)November 20, 1981
Kabwe, Zambia
DiedSeptember 14, 2009(2009-09-14) (aged 27)
Lusaka, Zambia
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, journalist
Years active1992–2009

Lily Tembo (November 20, 1981 – September 14, 2009), professionally known as Lily T, was a Zambian musician, radio presenter, journalist and charity worker[1][2] who had won national acclaim with her 2004 debut album Lily T.[3] For this album, she received two awards.

Tembo had released two albums and was working on a third at the time of her death. Aside from singing, she was known for presenting on the 5FM Radio in Zambia, working as a journalist and involvement in charity work.

Early life and education

Tembo was born in Kabwe, Zambia, and was raised in a music-loving family and was inspired by her father, who played African bongo, and her sisters and mother, who sung in church. Tembo attended secondary school at the Kabulonga Girls School in Lusaka. Later on, she pursued a career in journalism at Evelyn Hone College.


Tembo emerged onto the music market in 2004 with the album Lily T, which started her career and brought her national attention.[3] She released her second album, Osalila in 2006. Tembo was also a news reader for 5FM Radio before launching her music career.

After winning one award, she had been recognized by BBC Africa as a promising African celebrity who had remained original to traditional instruments.

She also served as a Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) goodwill ambassador for the United Nations.[4]

A week before her death, Tembo performed in Grahamstown, South Africa at the Highway Africa media conference under the Hearts and Minds project.

Charity work

Lily had been involved in raising malaria awareness in Zambia. In April 2009, she led worshippers at a World Malaria Day commemoration in Lusaka.[5]


After complaining over "minor stomach pains"[6] and suffering severe gastritis,[7][4] Tembo died around 6:30 PM, September 14 at the age of 27. Reactions were surprised, as she had been chatting with fans on Facebook on September 11.

Tembo's sister Patience told the press "She had gastritis, she fell sick on Saturday… she was vomiting a lot and developed anaemia. On Monday around 19:00 hours, she died."[8]


  • Lily T (2004)
  • Osalila (2006)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result
2005 Koala Awards Best New Artist Nominated
2007 Ngoma Awards Best Female Recording Artist Won
Best Music Video Award Won

Related videos

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External links


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