South Africa mourns ’80s disco music queen Patricia Majalisa
South Africa has lost yet another music icon in Patricia Majalisa, dubbed the ’80s disco music queen.
Majalisa died yesterday morning at Helen Joseph Hospital, Joburg, after a short illness. The singer, who hails from the Eastern Cape, rose to fame singing with popular ’80s group Splash, which together with Dalom Kids, produced many smash hits under the guidance of the late Dan Tshanda.
Majalisa’s death comes a few months after she collaborated with kwaito star Professor on his latest album Bubblegum Love, which came out in March.
The album features other yesteryear stars like Freddie Gwala, Kamazu, Dalom Kids and Thiza.
At the time, Professor told The Star that he specifically worked with those artists to revive the ’80s sound and make it relevant today.
“These people have given us classic songs which we still listen to even today, while the hottest artists in the country right now can give you a hit but not a lifetime classic,” Professor said.
Majalisa went solo in the late 1980s releasing several albums including Cool Down, Gimba and Witchdoctor, which all achieved platinum status. Her discography has over 15 albums and EPs.
Majalisa’s popularity in Botswana and Zimbabwe saw her headline several events and tour with Tshanda. Her hit song Akulalwa Ziyawa is still a fan favourite.
In an interview a few years back, Majalisa spoke on her tough but memorable music journey, saying that it was her patience and respect for elders that eventually paid off for her.
She also credited her Zimbabwean fan base for keeping her music alive. Splash was a Soweto township band led by Tshanda that released hit albums including Peacock, Snake, Tshokotshoko, Nesindande, and Khoma Khoma, among many others.
Majalisa also provided backing vocals for Matshikos, the duo comprising Penwell Kunene and Joseph Tshimange, and later Kunene and Tshanda. All have since passed on.
Known as the disco queen, Majalisa had a way with mixing genres, including mbaqanga, into her disco music.
Her fans used social media to send their condolences.