Thandi Klaasen: a world class performer
AFEW years ago, Yvonne Chaka Chaka held a spectacular concert at the Superbowl in Sun City. She invited me to review the event and I was lucky enough to be put up at The Palace.
After checking in, the Tonight photographer went to sort out our media accreditation. On arrival back at The Palace a white van was disembarking passengers. The manager of The Palace came running out to greet them.
It was none other than Thandi Klaasen and Abigail Kubeka.
“Good afternoon ladies,” he said. “May I take your bags.”
These queens of music smiled and nodded. The manager huffed and puffed as he carried their bags. “Goodness these are heavy,” he said. “What is in them – alcohol?”
At which point the two turned around and said simultaneously: “No. Drugs.” They both then walked into the hotel.
I think the photographer laughed for at least an hour. These two old ladies still had their wits and sense of humour and were still as rebellious and glamorous and as wonderful as they were all those years ago. Fantastic.
Later that night, Chaka Chaka put on a brilliant show which featured, among others, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.
The highlight was when Kubeka and Klaasen joined the band on stage.
They raised the bar that night to a magical level. I could see why they, Hotstix and Chaka Chaka, had enjoyed decades in the fickle music industry.
They weren’t in it for the fame and the tweets and the instagrams. They were there because of passion and their talent.
A world class performance by world class musicians.
It felt good to be a South African that night.
R.I.P. Thandi Klaasen.
Jazz legend Thandi Klaasen (centre), who died on Sunday, aged 86, with Abigail Kubeka (left) and Dorothy Masuka.