Picture: Supplied.

MAHIKENG - Late motswako maestro Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) brought young and old together, mourners heard on Thursday.

"Jabba was a force that brings young and old together...unfortunately we will not be with him physically to see and hear him how he accept himself in his forthcoming release 'Feel good to be back', unfortunately he is not here to feel the good when we listen to his music," Mmabana Art Foundation CEO Otsile Ntsoane said.

He said HHP saw a gap in the music industry and filled it.

The rapper, born Jabulani Tsambo, died on October 24. He was 38.

He was known for performing in several languages, but mostly in Setswana and used "Maf-town" in his music, referring to his hometown, Mahikeng in North West.

His friend Kea Modimongwe said HHP was a humble man who always wanted  to use his mother tongue Setswana.

"At one time he called me to his home, he told me he was meeting with Oprah Winfrey and I must help him to draft a speech. He wanted the speech to be in Setswana," he said.

Paying tribute to his friend, Modimongwe said the good ones die young.

Mourners were treated to the late rapper's motswako jams before the start of the memorial service.

A giant screen beamed his portraits from the stage, with words "Rest in peace king Jabba HHP".

The North West provincial government said it has decided to afford the Mahikeng-born rapper a civic funeral.

North West premier, Professor Job Mokgoro would deliver the eulogy on behalf of the provincial government at the funeral service planned for Saturday.

Dignitaries at the memorial service of the late iconic rapper included North West Tourism MEC Desbo Mohono, Mahikeng mayor Betty Diakanyo, Rural, Environment and Agriculture MEC Manketse Tlhape, Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs MEC Otlamentse Mochware, and African National Congress (ANC) North West spokesman Kabelo Mataboge.

Residents of Mahikeng filled the hall and some ended up standing as there were no more seats.

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African News Agency (ANA)