Mandoza’s death a huge void to fill. Rest in Peace Madala!

We’re poorer without you Nkalakatha. Mduduzi Tshabalala aka Mandoza succumbed to death on Sunday due to cancer. On this image, he gave his last performance at Orlando Stadium, last week.

The gravel voiced Mduduzi Tshabalala, passed on yesterday en route to hospital as he was preparing to take his chemotherapy treatment, after a long battle with cancer that had spread to his eyes, rendering him blind.

Apart from being celebrated by the country at large, he was a father, provider, entertainer and a kwaito star -who formed the once popular dance group from Zola, Chiskop.

Yes, for the uninitiated he was a dancer alongside the likes of “General” and other members who also passed on at the young age.

Mandoza, who was also recognised for his popular hit Nkalakatha (cut across all markets) the first Soweto born to break into the White market, was not that clean as talks of alcohol abuse and drugs took center stage but he fought that battle and redeemed himself.

Unfortunately, when he was on a mend, cancer came into the picture and as a result, last year he was admitted at hospital.

Last week he defied the odds stacked against him and gave a resounding performance at the SABC Thank You concert at Orlando Stadium. This was prior to him being bed-ridden.

At the concert, he declared “ngeke balunge” (they won’t let me down) much to the applause from the crowd, unbeknown this would be his last performance. His last stage appearance. His last dance!

Only last week I met up with one of his former dancer’s “The General” at the legacy Project called ‘Strictly Kwaito’ media launch at Disoufeng Pub- Dobsonville.

The venue was abuzz with kwaito stars from Jakarumba, Brickz, Tsekeleke, Sbu Malawyer and Alaska, whom during my interation with one of the members, reacted “I hope my outie recovers and do what he does best, we miss inja yethu” (we miss our top dog), also not knowing we were discussing the beginning-end of this legend.

Former Kaizer Chiefs’ darling and Bafana midfield genius Doctor “16” Khumalo, also sent his message of condolences to Tshabalala’s family.

“I’m still shocked and to tell the truth, I didn’t expect a call from a journo because I wouldn’t have known what and how to say this. I’m messed up.”

“May his Soul rest eternally in Peace. To his family and friends, your loss is our loss, ” said Doc, whom I came to meet and create a bond with Mandoza in Polokwane during the Coca Cola football tour some years’ ago. To the extend we coined the word Madala amongst three of us although I’m the youngest or was then.

Being humble and always taking his craft seriously, the first citizen of the country president JZ Zuma, has sent his message of condolences as well.

Opposition parties have also set aside their differences and remarked on his passing.

The African National Congress (ANC) mourns the passing of Kwaito music legend, Mduduzi Tshabalala, affectionately known as Mandoza.

Tshabalala succumbed to his death yesterday at the age of 38 after a long fight with cancer, read the statement from the ANC.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of this important music legend who was able to touch so many lives with his music beyond race and culture in our country. He will surely be missed.

“Losing someone we love is nothing easy, but knowing that we have been able to be part of the life of that person, we can realise that we are blessed to have been able to share in his life before he went to rest in eternal salvation.

“Our deepest condolences and sympathies go out to his friends and family. May God give you the comfort and peace that you seek and may the soul of this legendary music man rest in perfect peace,” says IFP Chairperson in Gauteng, Bonginkosi Dhlamini.

The ‘Godoba, Hlonipha iLife Boy’ hitmaker lives wife Mpho, three children and mother.

He was 38.

Following today’s media brief, a memorial will be held on Wednesday 21, next to Ellis Park Stadium (Standard Bank Arena) from noon.

Funeral will be on Satuday, according to family.

Rest in peace Nkalakatha! Shall miss You Madala!

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