Graham McLeroth, a prominent figure in Gauteng’s gay community and one of the owners of Babylon nightclub in Centurion, has passed away unexpectedly.
McLeroth, who lived in Blairgowrie in Johannesburg, tragically died from a heart attack last week. Known by some as “Mr Karaoke”, he was just 41-years-old.
In addition to his part in creating one of the most popular gay nightclubs in the country, McLeroth also helped found the first ever Pretoria Pride, which took place last year.
“The good ones die young,” commented McLeroth’s friend and fellow club promoter Bruce Walker. “He was one of the most pleasant guys you could ever meet – the gentlest of souls. He would go out of his way to help anybody, anytime; day or night.
“Whether you were a cleaner or a barman, he treated you the same. The club’s staff is devastated,” he added.
According to Walker, McLeroth helped the Etc. Zone bar in Centurion get off the ground and also often assisted the gay-affirming Reformerende Kerk (church) in Pretoria.
McLeroth’s Facebook profile page has been inundated with messages of shock and mourning and expressing condolences to his family. He is survived by his mother and a younger brother, who lives in the US.
McLeroth’s funeral will take place on Friday 24 January at St Columba’s Presbyterian Church in Parkview, Johannesburg at 11am. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the SPCA or any dog rescue centre.