Malaika star mourned by family and friends

Published Jul 18, 2008


The music industry has paid tribute to one of its most talented young artists in a moving memorial service.

About 400 people gathered on Thursday at the Bassline in Johannesburg to celebrate the life of Malaika's Jabulani Ndaba, who died on from TB complications on Monday.

They heard Ndaba's 14-year-old son Keke pay tribute to his father.

Among the guests were band members Bongani Nchang and Tshidi Mholo, and Ndaba's producer, Guffy Pilane.

"I remember him as really, really funny," said Pilane. "He was also very energetic and a good dancer. He was one of the best songwriters I ever worked with."

He said it was too early for the remaining Malaika members to decide whether to replace Ndaba. However, they would meet with their record company, Sony BMG, before making any decisions.

The remaining Malaika members performed songs and paid tribute to their friend, with Nchang hardly able to hold back his tears.

"He taught me the value of family life," he said. "He was a very generous person. There is a place in my heart that can only be filled by him."

Others who paid tribute included DJ S'bu Leope, who wore black gloves.

Theo Kgosinkwe of Mafikizolo, the Afro pop group that was always in direct competition with Malaika, tried to comfort the remaining band members.

"There are just the two of us," he said, referring to Mafikizolo, "and now it's just the two of you".

All the speakers recalled Ndaba's jovial attitude and generous ways.

The entertainer, in an exclusive with The Star Tonight recently, remained optimistic about his health.

He said he hoped to get into producing music for artists when he was well, and was already working with a group in his hometown, Klerksdorp.

Ndaba's funeral will be held in Klerksdorp on Saturday.

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