31-Year-Old Sape'-Player Found Dead At His Studio In Kuching

Saufi Aiman Yahya had made Malaysia proud back in 2017 by winning four gold medals in the US.

Cover image via @saufiaiman (Instagram) & Saufi Aiman Yahya (Facebook)

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Saufi Aiman Yahya, a renowned sape'-player from Sarawak, was found dead in his studio office at City Square in Kuching last night, 10 June

According to a statement by Sarawak Fire and Rescue Operations Center, they received a call from the Bintawa police station, asking them to help move the body at around 9.13pm yesterday.

In the statement, they added that it took six rescuers from the Padungan fire station in full PPE to carry the deceased's body from the second floor of the commercial centre to a waiting police truck.

Bomba rescuers carrying Saufi's body to a waiting police truck.

Image via Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia Negeri Sarawak (Facebook)

The deceased's cause of death is yet to be revealed

The body has been brought to the Sarawak General Hospital's morgue for a post-mortem.

Police have classified the case as sudden death and the cause of death of the victim is being investigated.

The 31-year-old was a professional sape'-player and had made Malaysia proud back in 2017 by winning four gold medals in the US

He bagged the medals at the by-invitation-only 21st World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA), which is dubbed as the 'Olympics' for amateurs and professionals in performing arts.

Saufi also won a silver medal at the championship.

The four golds he won were in jazz, contemporary, classical, and open (for solo or group) categories, with the silver medal for the original works category, according to a New Straits Times report.

Saufi had been playing the sape' (pronounced 'sa-peh') for about 10 years. It is a traditional instrument of the Kenyah people, who are indigenous to Sarawak.

The Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Faculty of Applied & Creative Arts graduate also ran a company called Sape' Star, which provides sape' lessons and sells the instrument.

On his Instagram, netizens have shared their condolences under a video, that was posted four days ago, of him playing the instrument:

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