Pinkie Mtshali (centre) with Slindo Zondo and Marion Loudon at last year’s uMhlanga Summer Festival. Picture: Val Adamson
Pinkie Mtshali (centre) with Slindo Zondo and Marion Loudon at last year’s uMhlanga Summer Festival. Picture: Val Adamson

Tributes pour in for Durban Diva Pinkie Mtshali

By Adryan Ogle Time of article published Jul 11, 2020

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Durban - The Durban arts community has lost a gem.

The bubbly and gracious Pinkie Mtshali, 50, who died on Wednesday afternoon after possible heart complications, was a blues musician and a gifted mentor and leader in her community.

“I will miss your laughter, your singing, your gorgeous pictures and your artistry. A real diva RIP,” said Dr Yoliswa Nompula, the acting director for creative arts at UKZN.

Social media was flooded with fond memories and messages from her friends and associates. An entire Facebook tribute group, created to remember her, amassed almost 250 members by yesterday afternoon.

“I am shocked and devastated at the news that my dear friend Pinkie Mtshali is no more. Just last week she sent me this beautiful hymn called Remember Me. We spoke of doing some music as soon as this pandemic is over. She would send her karaoke vids to me to encourage and entertain (me). I pray that your dear soul rests in the loving arms of Jesus,” wrote friend Kurt Holmes.

The musician’s network crossed all boundaries and barriers as she touched many lives in a profound and talented way, friends noted.

Described as gregarious, she studied voice technique at Natal Technikon, now known as the Durban University of Technology, and sang with the Napac Opera singers.

Mtshali covered a wide range of performances including opera, pop and musicals, often alongside international conductors and other musicians. She also studied psychology and counselling at Unisa which made her adept in guiding young people and supporting her fellow musicians.

She headed the all-women Durban Divas and was co-director of the Durban Blues Festival. She was also the music administrator at Emmanuel Cathedral.

Hailing from uMlazi, she worked around the country and performed in an array of productions, cabarets, functions and church events, securing countless awards and accolades.

She was also admired for her dress sense and style. Most recently, she created an information sharing and support group for performers affected by Covid-19.

Her funeral will be held at St Emmanuel Cathedral, 48 Cathedral Road, Durban, on July 15 at 10am. Only 50 individuals are allowed to attend to ensure physical distancing.

The Independent on Saturday

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