South Africa mourns legendary kwaito star Mandoza

As news of the star’s death spreads, people from all walks of life have taken to social media to pay tribute to the iconic kwaito musician.

Mandoza's last performance (c) sowetanlive.co.za
Mandoza's last performance (c) sowetanlive.co.za

Mandoza, real name Mduduzi Tshabalala, passed away around midday today while on his way to hospital in Johannesburg after he experienced trouble breathing. He had been battling brain cancer for about a year.  He was 38.

One of the pioneers of Kwaito music, Mandoza made his last public appearance last week at a concert organized by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

His former manager Vaughn Eaton told ENW that the musician’s family is in shock as they thought he was starting to recover.

President Jacob Zuma is among hundreds of celebrities, politicians and fans who have paid tribute to the musician.

“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,” reads a statement on the President’s website.

Musician Danny K wrote “Devastated! Sad sad day for all South Africans. My friend and music legend is gone. My deepest condolences to Mpho and the family.”

More tributes have come in from many public figures including DJ Black Coffee, Maraza, Loyiso Gola, Cassper Nyovest, iFani, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Thuli Madonsela  and Mmusi Maimane.

At the time of his death Mandoza had released 15 solo albums, including the critically acclaimed Nkalakatha, whose title track remains one of the biggest crossover songs in the country.

In a video interview with the SABC, Mandoza’s son Tokollo said "I'm just happy that my dad died a proud man because he had everything he wanted in life. Every time he'd tell me that he never got a chance to spend time with his dad, so all he ever wanted was to raise his children."

Mandoza’s family has not yet confirmed funeral details.

May his soul rest peace.

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