South African rapper Costa Titch, 28, dies suddenly after collapsing during performance

An up-and-coming rapper reportedly died this weekend after fans witnessed him fall and later collapse off stage during a South African music festival.

Costa Titch, real name Constantinos Tsobanoglou, 28, was performing at the Nasrec Expo Centre Saturday night as part of the Ultra South Africa electronic music festival in Johannesburg. Best known for the single “Big Flexa” which had been remixed in collaboration with Akon, the backup dancer turned rapper was performing a half-hour set when he suffered an undisclosed medical emergency.

Video of the performance showed Tsobanoglou initially falling while crossing the stage before he is quickly helped up to end the song. Just as the music quiets and the audience erupts, the entertainer is seen listing before he collapses completely off the stage.

Warning: Graphic

His fellow performers were seen rushing to his aid as he appeared to struggle on the ground before being rushed backstage.

Taking to social media, his family confirmed that Tsobanoglou had died though no cause was named.

“Death has tragically knocked at our door. Robbing us of our beloved son, brother and grandson, Constantinos Tsobanoglou, who South Africa had come to love and idolize under his stage name ‘Costa Titch.’ It is with deep pain that we find ourselves having to acknowledge his passing at this time,” they posted to his Instagram.


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A post shared by COSTA TITCH | | (@costatitch)

“We’re thankful for the emergency responders and all those present in his last hours on this earth. As a family we are faced with a difficult time as we try to make sense of what has befallen us and ask that we be afforded the time and space to gather ourselves,” the statement continued and concluded, “The Tsobanoglou family thanks you for the love and support you have given to our son and may you continue to uplift him even in spirit. Please keep us in your prayers and uplifted in the Lord.”

The festival also issued a statement, referring to the performer as “a galvanizing voice amongst South Africa’s amapiano scene — a talented rapper, dancer, songwriter, collaborator, and friend to the festival.”

The South African family was not alone in tragedy as a 22-year-old master’s degree student working with the XFL as an athletic trainer also died suddenly Thursday from an unspecified cause while at the team hotel.

Ben Siegfried of Lebanon Valley College (LVC), a former college football player, was working with the St. Louis BattleHawks and D.C. Defenders when he passed. A statement from the league said, “The XFL family mourns the loss of our teammate, Ben Siegfried, who passed away last evening. Ben, a graduate student athletic trainer from Lebanon Valley College working with the XFL Athletic Training Department, was an integral part of preparing our BattleHawks and Defenders for the season. His infectious smile in the locker room and passion for his work will be deeply missed by all the players and staff who had the opportunity to work with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

XFL owner, actor and former wrestler Dwayne Johnson added to the statement, “So so sorry to hear this devastating news come in earlier today. Sending strength, love, light, and mana to the Siegfried family during this heartbreaking time. We are with you. Stay strong.”

Likewise, his college said, “LVC is saddened to learn that Ben Siegfried ’22, M’23 has passed away. A @LVCFootball DT, Ben was finishing his master’s degree in athletic training and was doing his clinical training with the XFL. Please keep Ben’s family, loved ones, and friends in your thoughts and prayers.”

Memorials were held during both teams’ games Sunday and LVC announced they would hold their own gathering on campus Wednesday while providing information to students in need of counseling.


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