19 September 2016

Tributes pour in for Mandoza

Legendary kwaito star Mandoza passed away on Sunday afternoon, after suffering from cancer. Mandoza's family went public with his illness for the first time about a week ago, by releasing a statement saying "Mandoza Nkalakatha is fighting for his life after having cancer treatment in 2015. It has unfortunately metastasized to his brain".
 
Mandoza spoke to BET Africa last Tuesday, after his Saturday performance at the "SABC Thank You Concert". Although he was not well, he was very optimistic and spoke of his plans if he had to win the battle over cancer. His performance at Orlando Stadium in Soweto happened to be his final one.
 
The news of his passing was first reported on Twitter by an SABC reporter, who also happens to be a family friend. The Tshabalala family also confirmed that Mduduzi 'Mandoza' Tshabalala passed away at around midday on Sunday after being taken to hospital that morning.
 
Since his passing, messages of condolences have been pouring in. The President, fellow musicians and fans extended their deep felt condolences to his family.
 
"South Africa has lost one of its pioneers whose music appealed to a cross section of our people, young and old and was known to have achieved the unique crossover culturally to be enjoyed by both black and white South Africans. It is a great loss to the nation and we wish to extend our deepest condolences to his wife Mpho, his family and hordes of fans. Mandoza will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in peace," said President Zuma.
 
The Kwaito artist was popularly known for his hit 'Nkalakatha' released in 2000. Mandoza was born in the Zola South section of Soweto, where he lived with his mother, grandparents and two sisters. When he was sixteen years old he was charged with stealing a car and received a one-and-a-half year sentence, which he served in Diepkloof prison.
 
When he was released from prison, Mandoza formed the group Chiskop along with three childhood friends, S'bu, Siphiwe and Sizwe. Mandoza later went solo and used his music to communicate a positive message, especially to young people, through songs like 'Uzoyithola Kanjani', 'Hlonipha impilo boy' and 'Hope'.

Mandoza died aged 38, leaving behind his wife Mpho, sons Tokollo and Tumelo and daughter Karabo.

Thulile Gama