Johannesburg - Lerothodi “Towdee” Moagi reminisces about the last time he spent downtime listening to music with his childhood friend, popular hip hop artist Jabulani Tsambo, better known as HHP.
“It was just two weeks ago that I was with Jabba. I can’t believe he’s gone,” said an emotional Moagi on Friday.
The two last met at the home of Thabiso “Thasman” Tsotetsi, HHP’s producer and good friend.
They hadn’t seen each other in a while, said Moagi.
“To be honest we didn’t say much to each other. We didn’t talk about life or anything else, just music.
“He called an Uber shortly afterwards, we shook hands, we hugged and he said ‘ma guy, I’m out’. That was the last time we exchanged words.”
HHP died on Wednesday, with the circumstances surrounding his death unclear, but he’d been battling depression for several years.
While the family are yet to confirm the cause of Tsambo’s death, it is alleged that the Mahikeng-born rapper took his own life at his home in Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg.
Moagi said it would be unfair to speak about whether Tsambo had been battling with depression.
“I’m really not going to go into his condition because this is a very sensitive issue, and the family haven’t said anything on it, so it would be out of place for me.
"All I can say is that we have to focus on the memories Jabba left us with and we need to celebrate his life and his contributions.”
Moagi, however, said his childhood friend had been unhappy with the music industry.
“He was very vocal about not being happy with the way the industry is. A lot of us aren’t happy. It’s up to us to learn from this and to make this a safer place for us, because we’re here to entertain people and make people happy, and in the process we end up unhappy.”
Tsambo was said to have been compiling a new album.
“Firstly, I think Jabba would like to be remembered as a music man, a man of the people. Nobody can claim him alone, not us Motswako rappers, Maftown, or the people of the North West.
“He belonged to the whole nation. That’s how I would love for him to be remembered. He was loved by all people and he brought a lot of people together.”
Moagi said Tsambo had put North West on the map.
“Jabba was the guy that put North West on the map. Now kids from Maftown are proud of where they come from.
"Before, many of us used to feel ashamed of coming from the North West, but Jabba changed that.”
Family spokesperson Edgar Makgeledise said two memorials would be held.
“One will take place on Tuesday at the Newtown Music Factory and the other on Thursday at the Mahikeng Convention Centre. As for the funeral, we are confirming the venue.”
The star’s family were battling to deal with their loss.
“The family are shattered,” said Makgeledise.