He was 52 years at the time of his untimely death.
Molefe who started his illustrious career as a journalist with Mafikeng Mail and later established Taxi Mate, e’Vibe Magazine and The North West Economist had long stints with City Press, The New Nation, Sunday World and Sowetan both of which he served as an assignment editor.
His popular column at the Sowetan, Andrew Molefe’s People shared views of opinion makers with readers.
The well travelled Molefe also served as provincial editor and columnist for The New Age.
The Soweto Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Township Gazette, Capital Mail, Westrand Mail, Eastern Mail and Randburg Post are among the 18 publications that Molefe helped establish in Limpopo, Gauteng and the North West Province.
I met this smart, intelligent and ardent reader upon my introduction into the media industry years’ ago (still wet behind ears) a word he coined.
He mentored diligently junior staff members that today are brand names within the journalism industry, including yours truly of which today I’m proud to say to the world “I am your product”.
During my long stint with “Druza” heaving heavily on my neck on how; where and what makes a good story, the opposite was he had a soft-spot for the beginners.
I knew his family very well -they originate from Mabopane in Pta. He would invite us over for drinks and braai. He loved hosting and sharing ideas with those who cared to listen, period…
At times without the knowledge of the wife.
“E wena saan, I shall dance with you or hey kid” were some of his trademarks either happy or under the influence of ‘forbidden waters’ as he would cry out loud when doing his magic on stories. Ah, what a great man he was!
At e’Vibe Magazine (then the only music magazine in the country) were the bug of journalism had crept in and sharpen my writing skills, Andrew and other staff members he used to work with (including his brother Thabo Mosoahle), were responsible for coining the controversial Brenda Fassie the “Madonna of Townships” which later was borrowed by international media.
Often described ‘Twiggy for his small body posture or Khoisan for his face resembled that feature’ Andrew was a globetrotter. He traveled world over and the word ‘Big Apple’ which means New York was his favourite if not London, Paris, etc…
In sending her message of condolences to his family, the Premier of North West Thandi Modise said: “The untimely death of Molefe has robbed the North West Province and South Africa of a patriot and a community builder who had a passion for journalism and served as a fact checker, watchdog, story teller and an investigative reporter.
The objectivity and selflessness of this great journo should serve as an example for journalists, aspiring or established, mainstream or alternative,” says the Premier.
Modise said Molefe’s indelible mark and legacy is enshrined in his articles, in the newspapers he helped establish, and in the generations of journalists that he inspired.
Indeed, this is the man who made the likes of businessmen and former politician such as Tokyo Sexwale, Chevron (Petrol giants) listen to when he approached them to invest and develop community media.
We’re poorer without you “Druza” and your legacy will forever be etched in our minds for as long as we live! Yes, I’m now ‘loved by Queens and admired by Kings’ as he would richly boast… That witty smile is no more…
Molefe was highly respected in the media industry for his writing proficiency and good command of the Queen’s language. Retired senior journalist and his former managing editor at Sowetan, Monk Nkomo, described Molefe as “a very talented journalist”.
As one of his former colleagues and my mentor of note Mothibi Mthethwa would aptly quip ‘celestial view’ that’s were “Druza” is now headed…
His funeral service will be held at his Horizon View home in Roodepoort on Saturday and he will be laid to rest at Westpark Cemetery later on the day. He is survived by wife Lydia and two daughters, Amogelang, 24 and Atlegang, 18.
Another memorial service will be held at the Mmabana Arts, Culture and Sports Foundation (NW) Studio 3 from 2pm-4pm on Thursday.
Robalang Ka ntho madi a tshologe ba ga Molefe.
Robala ka Kagiso rara!