SONG FOR MATHANDI

Life of leg­end re­mem­bered with love, song

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - MASEGO PANYANE

THE LIFE of jazz icon Thandi Klaasen was cel­e­brated the way she lived – through love and song.

Klaasen, who died af­ter a short bat­tle with pan­cre­atic can­cer, was re­mem­bered yes­ter­day at a me­mo­rial ser­vice at the Ger­mis­ton City Hall. Speaker af­ter speaker hailed her as lov­ing, re­silient, ex­tremely tal­ented and an ac­tivist.

The cer­e­mony was at­tended by gi­ants in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try such as Babsy Mlan­geni, Blondie Makhene, Cai­phus Se­menya, Letta Mbulu, Dorothy Ma­suku and Abi­gail Kub­heka to name just a few.

Gov­ern­ment and po­lit­i­cal fig­ures in­cluded Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Faith Muthambi; Deputy Min­is­ter of Arts and Cul­ture Re­joice Mabudafhasi; Gaut­eng MEC for Arts, Cul­ture, Sports and Recre­ation Faith Maz­ibuko; Ekurhu­leni Mayor Mzwandile Masina; and Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and for­mer Ekurhu­leni mayor Mondli Gun­gubele.

Speak­ing at the event, Klaasen’s son, Roger Mpam­bane, said, of the many lessons he’d carry with him from his mother, the most im­por­tant one was to love God.

“That woman knew and re­spected God. And she taught me to in­clude God in ev­ery­thing I do.

“My mother also had a big heart and she was strong,” Pham­bane said.

Her daugh­ter, Lor­raine Klaasen, said she learnt to be the artist that she is to­day by ob­serv­ing her mother.

“I al­ways ob­served my mother and said I want to be like my mother when I grow up.

“I ful­filled that prom­ise – be­cause I am like her,” she said.

The icon’s friend, Sally Peter­ston, high­lighted the role in her life played by Klaasen’s po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism.

“Thandi al­ways had a card up her sleeve for the poor­est of the poor, and she con­trib­uted greatly to the lib­er­a­tion move­ment,” Peter­ston said.

Poet and writer, Don Mat­tera, said the best way to re­mem­ber Klaasen and her legacy was through the love and com­pas­sion she showed to oth­ers.

“When you love, you must care; and when you have com­pas­sion, you must heal,” he said.

With mu­sic from the Dr Johnny Mekoa Orches­tra Ensem­ble, the Liv­ing Leg­ends Trib­ute and the SABC and Ekurhu­leni Metro Po­lice De­part­ment choirs, the at­mos­phere was light.

Anec­dotes of Klaasen’s life were also the or­der of the day, high­light­ing the sense of hu­mour and grace with which she ap­proached life.

Klaasen will be buried to­mor­row at the Heroes’ Acre.

Ekurhu­leni Mayor Masina also con­firmed that Klaasen will be given a civic fu­neral and be posthu­mously awarded the Free­dom of the City by the Ekurhu­leni Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

PIC­TURE: MATTHEWS BALOYI

Abi­gail Kubeka, Letta Mbulu and Dorothy Ma­suku, friends of the late Thandi Klaasen, dur­ing her me­mo­rial ser­vice in Ger­mis­ton yes­ter­day.

PIC­TURE: MATTHEWS BALOYI

RE­MEM­BERED: Thandi Klaasen’s life was cel­e­brated yes­ter­day at a me­mo­rial ser­vice at the Ger­mis­ton City Hall.

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