Mandoza (real name Mduduzi Edmund Tshabalala) died on Sunday morning after losing his battle with cancer. It was in May last year that doctors discovered he had brain tumor which thereafter led to complications with his eyesight. The Thank You SABC music concert was his first performance since it was made public that his cancer has recurred.
On Wednesday, 21 September, the memorial service of the kwaito star saw more than 1000 gather at the Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg. Many of his close friends took to stage to share their joyful moments with him, with some of the funny moments having Mandoza’s wife laugh. The mood was quickly lifted from somber to celebratory.
One of his close friends, Thabiso Mosia, expressed the gratitude he has for Mandoza for letting him stay with him and his wife Mpho when he first moved to Johanessburg. Mosia is now a sports presenter and says he owes it all to Mandoza.
“When I first arrived, I didn’t have a place to stay and he took me in and said I would stay with him and Mpho. When I asked him if Mpho would be okay with it, he said ‘I’m Mandoza, she has to’.”
Mandoza came from one of the most dangerous townships in Soweto called Zola and he was one of the few who made it out successfully. “He was one of the first artists to come out of Zola to become a very big star. His voice was different and his delivery was unique,” narrated South African Kwaito and R&B artist Speedy when contacted by The Lounge.
Speedy says he has known Mandoza since the ‘90s and they used to call him “our South African DMX.”
“The passing of Mandoza is a great loss to the music industry. Kwaito was the foundation and he laid his foundation on which many will stand for years to come. I remember his hit song Nkalakatha was known even by the whites. It was one of the only songs the white people knew and they too danced to it. “I will forever remember him as the artist who had broken barriers.”
Speedy and the entire South African music Mandoza fellowship ‘celebrated the legend’s life yesterday- a moment Speedy said they used to celebrate Mandoza.
What has to be the single highlight of Mandoza’s memorial service has to be abundant love and praise heaped on his wife Mpho for being right by her husband’s side through it all. She has been taking care of her husband at home, doing interviews on her husband’s health state and still holding her family together. Absolute resilience!
Mosia adds “I know you are brave, you are strong. I know you will keep your home and your family together,” These were the words expressed by Mpho’s aunt who has been a part of the couple’s relationship growth since they started dating back in 1999.
Mandoza’s death has been felt in South Africa, across Africa as a continent and all over the world. He will always be remembered as the guy whose music bridged the racial and social divide. Funeral proceedings for Mandoza will be held at the Grace Bible Church Soweto tomorrow and the musician will later be buried at the West Park Cemetery.
Additional info from www.timeslive.co.za