Kwaito legend 'Mduduzi' Mandoza Tshabalala

Johannesburg - The African National Congress (ANC) on Monday said it was mourning the passing of Kwaito music legend, Mduduzi “Mandoza” Tshabalala, who succumbed to his death on Sunday at the age of 38 after a long fight with pharyngeal carcinoma, cancer of the pharynx.

ANC spokesperson, Zizi 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 South Africa’s common heritage.

“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,” Kodwa said.

According to the musician’s 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 him to begin chemotherapy, Mandoza met his untimely death before the treatment could commence as the cancer had spread to his eyes, rendering him blind after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May last year.

Kodwa said Mandoza’s passing marked an end of an era in the Kwaito genre characterised by its “rough guy” image that was uniquely South African with Mandoza as one of its respected Commanders In Chief.

President Jacob Zuma also extended his condolences to Mandoza’s family on Sunday. The Democratic Alliance extended its condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones as well.

Mandoza began his music career with the outfit formed called Chiskop in 1996 with his three childhood friends, S’bu, Siphiwe and Sizwe.

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.

Tributes continued to pour in on Monday after the news of Mandoza’s death. It is expected that he would be laid to rest this week.