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’Mshoza was a rare, unpolished talent and could handle kwaito like men do’

Tributes continued pouring in from across South Africa for the kwaito superstar Nomasonto Maswangayi, also known as Mshoza, who succumbed to diabetes complications. Picture: Instagram

Tributes continued pouring in from across South Africa for the kwaito superstar Nomasonto Maswangayi, also known as Mshoza, who succumbed to diabetes complications. Picture: Instagram

Published Nov 22, 2020

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Johannesburg - Tributes continued pouring in from across South Africa for the kwaito superstar Nomasonto Maswangayi who succumbed to diabetes complications.

South Africans took to social media to express their condolences to her family.

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The 37-year-old kwaito star, who was affectionately known as Mshoza, has been described as a “sweet and bubbly person” who was hardly grumpy.

Mshoza was rushed to hospital on Wednesday. The kwaito star died on Thursday morning at Far East Rand Hospital.

Mshoza first revealed she was diabetic in 2014 when she was hospitalised following a health scare.

Controversy dogged her career after she went public with her new look following extensive bleaching to her face and body. She was once quoted as saying “she was tired of being ugly”, when asked why she bleached her face.

But her controversies didn’t damper her personality and success in the eyes of her friends and colleagues in the music industry.

Bulldawgz Entertainment co-founder Oscar Mlangeni, who discovered Mshoza when she was a teenager, paid tribute to the “First Lady of Kwaito” saying she was a talented person.

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Mshoza shot to fame in 2001 with her hit song Kortes.

Mlangeni who was Mshoza’s manager and producer described her as a “rare and unpolished talent.”

“I just could not believe that a female artist could handle kwaito like men do. It was just an amazing sight,” he recalled.

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He chuckled: “When Nomasonto came to our auditions many years ago when I still worked at Jam Alley, during a time when I was inundated with a lot of hopefuls, I remember how I was enthralled by specifically her talent and passion.

“And that is the same passion that I saw carry her through right until the end.”

Mlangeni described Mshoza as someone who was very loyal to the Kwaito movement and never changed her sound even though the game changed. Mlangeni said he regarded Mshoza as his child because he was there at the beginning of her career.

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“I was in so much denial of her growth. I was shocked when they told me that she was married because in my head, I still had the young tomboy image.

“I even questioned the sanity of the person who married her, not because I didn’t believe it could happen but because she was my young tomboy Sonto, who over the years grew up,” Mlangeni said.

Mshoza’s childhood friend, Mzambiya, real name Nkosinathi Zwane, said Mshoza was a trailblazer and an inspiration to young girls.

“She brought some confidence to young girls. There is only one Mshoza, a female kwaito star. She was not apologetic about what she believed in,” Mzambiya said,

He said Mshoza was a very caring person.

Although Mzambiya has been saddened by Mshoza’s untimely death, he said he wanted her to be celebrated.

“I want her to be celebrated. I think that’s what she would have wanted. She was always bubbly. I can’t remember a sad Sonto,” Mzambiya said.

He met Sonto in 1998 in Zola where most renowned kwaito artists such as Mandoza and his group Chiskop used to meet for rehearsals. Mzambiya said all the up and coming artists who were still working on their craft used to meet there.

“I was doing my thing. I met Sonto there. We became friends instantly. She was impressed by my writing skills because I was writing songs,” Mzambiya recalled.

He said although Mshoza is originally from Greenvillage in Soweto, she spent most of her time in Zola doing rehearsals.

“When she was not doing rehearsals. She was at my house. That’s why she said she is from Zola. She spent most of her time at my house.”

He recalled how one of their friends named her Mshoza because she was a tomboy. He said Mshoza was very passionate about Kwaito music.

“When she got a chance to record her own album, it became an instant hit. She became a star.”

Mzambiya said Mshoza’s death was a huge loss to the South African music industry. Mzambiya said the last time he spoke Mshoza was a few months ago when he celebrated 20 years in the music industry.

“I couldn’t tell that she was sick. She sounded okay,” he said.

He said they were planning a big comeback.

Little did he know it would be the last time he had spoken to her.

Mshoza leaves her two children, Pride and Jacob Jnr Mnisi, and her two sisters.

Sunday Independent

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