'I'll love him until I die' - Mandoza's wife

The wife of the late Nkalakatha hitmaker Mduduzi “Mandoza” Tshabalala on Friday said he was an amazing husband and she would love him forever.

Speaking during her husband’s funeral service at the Grace Bible Church in Soweto, Mpho Tshabalala said she saw him as a “thug” when they met for the first time.

Mduduzi 'Mandoza' Tshabalala. Credit: Twitter

“I was like what does this thug want when I first met him, 18 years later I still love him. He raised beautiful kids with me,” she said while on stage with their three of their sons.

Mandoza, 38, died on Sunday after losing his battle with cancer.

Mpho said she had three biological children Tokollo, Tumelo and Karabo but she considers Thapelo, the child Mandoza had with another woman while they were married, as her own.

“Tokollo, I named him because of freedom from my father. I was angry that he got a child out of marriage, we named the child Thapelo (our) prayer and then we had Tumelo.”

She added that the couple had always hoped for a daughter.

“[In] 2010 I gave birth to Karabo and she was our answer and she was born at 6.5 months. I suffered a stroke and stayed in hospital while she went home,” Mpho said.

She reminisced about how their family used humour to help them heal.

“When he was sick last year he was black (dark) and we called him leather when he sat on the couch,” Mpho said jokingly.

She mentioned that she had been asked if Mandoza died financially secure.

“If he had it, I’d put it in the box with him,” she said.

Mpho recalled Mandoza’s final moments. “Saturday he wouldn’t eat, we didn’t sleep. He woke up early on Sunday and said happy birthday baby.”

“He said I’m going to give you a gift that I won’t buy with money, I’m going to fight this thing (referirng to the cancer),” Mpho said.

Later, she introduced Pascal, the first artist signed to Nkalakatha records – a company she started with Mandoza before he passed.

“He pushed me to push,” Pascal said.

Acting SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said he last saw Mandoza on Saturday. “I didn’t know it would be the last time,” he said.

Motsoeneng urged South Africans to support local artists. “We need to be proud of ourselves as South Africa and our artists. You can’t love artists from other countries when you have your own artists,” Motsoeneng said.

Mandoza made his final public appearance during a SABC concert that was held two weeks ago at the Orlando Stadium. He was helped onto the stage because he had lost his sight in both eyes because of a brain tumour.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi paid tribute to Mandoza and encouraged Mpho to stay strong.

“I remember when he said this cancer is crazy, Mpho stay strong and cherish the beautiful moments you had with your husband and kids,” she said.

The church was filled with thousands of supporters who came to pay tribute to the Kwaito legend.