People from the creative industry should be given respect.
These were the words from Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa outside the family home of late hip-hop pioneer Linda “ProKid” Mkhize in Jabulani, Soweto.
“We still have a long way to go here in South Africa. Even with their craft, people don’t spend a lot of money to support artists.
"We want to change the narrative of them being supported only outside the borders of the country. He was a real trailblazer.”
Mthethwa said what made Mkhize stand out was how his hip hop emphasised his roots in the township - ekasi.
“He is a Soweto man and he also understood that he had bigger obligations than Soweto - throughout the country. His use of vernacular says that he has not been afraid to express himself and his culture. Language defines who we are first and foremost. It tells the world that we are who we are and proud of it without looking down on any other person, so it was befitting for us to come and pay our respects.”
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He said it was a painful time when people who lived for arts and culture and inspired the younger generation died so young.
Gauteng Sport‚ Arts‚ Culture and Recreation MEC Faith Mazibuko said they were still trying to finalise the details of the memorial and funeral services.
Mazibuko said Mkhize was a good example of how young people expressed and promoted their talent. “Together with the City of Joburg we are negotiating that he be laid to rest at the Heroes Acre at Westpark Cemetery. He will lay with his peers like Mandoza and Robbie Malinga.”
Mazibuko said they were also trying to help the family get a suitable venue for the funeral.
“It might be of a huge magnitude with people coming to pay their respects.
“This is the life he lived. He contributed to society.
“We send our condolences to the family and hope to give him a good farewell.”
Family members of the late hip-hop star said they would not be giving any comment on reports allegedly made by Mandisa Mbanjwa in a the Sunday World newspaper about the star spending his last moments with her.
Mthethwa said although family members were in mourning they were also celebrating his life.
“There is a feeling of loss but also an appreciation of who he was to his peers and fans.
"His parents said they were surprised about some of the things they didn’t know about him. They didn’t fully understand the impact he made on society until his friends came to show their support.”
Mkhize died on Wednesday last week after suffering a severe seizure. Final details of the memorial and funeral will be communicated in the week.