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 that had spread to his eyes, rendering him blind.
According to his wife, Mpho Tshabalala, Mandoza took his last breath at the entrance of Charlotte Maxeke hospital where she was rushing him to get help following complications with his health earlier in the day. While plans had been made for Mandoza to begin chemotherapy, he sadly met his untimely death before the treatment could commence.
“It is indeed a sad day for all of us in the ANC and no doubt to South Africans at large. We have lost a legend, someone who was a unifying figure because his music was enjoyed by young and old across all races,” said ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.
Kodwa sent heartfelt condolences to the Tshabalala family and urged the Arts community to preserve Mandoza’s legacy as he believed the music legend formed part of developing our common heritage as South Africans.
Mandoza’s passing marked an end of an era in the Kwaito genre characterized by its rough guy image that was uniquely South African with Mandoza as one of its respected Commanders In Chief.
He began his music career with the outfit formed with his friends called Chiskop. In 1999 he went solo and released an album called 9115 Zola South, which earned him the 2000 FNB South African Best Newcomer. After the Y2k hype, he released his best known song, Nkalakatha, produced by well-known music producer Gabi le Roux. Nkalakatha went on to win him the 2001 South African Music Award in both Song of the year and Best Kwaito Music Album categories.
What a song Nkalakatha turned out to be – it reverberated through speakers in taxi ranks, it was played in middle class parties in leafy suburbs, in township taverns and trendy sports bars – breaking down racial barriers and uniting South Africans in song.
iSgelekeqe, uGodoba owadla idollar, Uzoyithola kanjani uhleli ekhoneni, was how we saluted beloved Mandoza. He’s no more but his distinctly hoarse voice will continue to reverberate through the airwaves because legends like Mandoza do not die, all they do is take a bow and rest for a while.
May your soul rest in eternal peace Nkalakatha!
African National Congress
Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707