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THE late kwaito su­per­star Mduduzi Man­doza Tsha­bal­ala was laid to rest next to South African leg­ends Gugu Zulu, Flabba and Simba Mhere yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Mourn­ers made their way to West Park Ceme­tery fol­low­ing an emo­tion­ally-charged fu­neral ser­vice for a per­son many de­scribed as a “hero.”

So it was only fit­ting that Man­doza be laid to rest next to other SA he­roes in­clud­ing rac­ing car driver Gugu Zulu who died two months ago‚ rap­per Flabba‚ Simba Mhere‚ Baby Jake and Ed­die Zondi.

Speak­ing at Man­doza’s fu­neral ser­vice his widow‚ Mpho, promised to keep her hus­band’s legacy alive and thanked the na­tion for the over­whelm­ing sup­port that she had re­ceived dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time.

“It’s been 18 years now‚ I love him and I will love him till I die. I know he will send me a ball of fire from heaven and I will raise our chil­dren‚” she said.

Hun­dreds of mourn­ers gath­ered at the Grace Bible Church in Soweto to bid a fi­nal farewell to the kwaito leg­end.

The mood at the church was som­bre as the fu­neral ser­vice got un­der­way.

A gi­ant sized pic­ture of Man­doza stood at the front on the stage as soft re­li­gious hymns were played.

At the me­mo­rial ser­vice held to cel­e­brate the leg­end’s life on Thurs­day, MEC of Sports, Arts, Cul­ture and Re­cre­ation in Gaut­eng, Faith Maz­ibuko, hailed Man­doza as an am­bas­sador of Zola, the town­ship in which he grew up.

She said it was be­cause of him that artistes from Zola such as Mzam­biya and Mshoza had the con­fi­dence to join the in­dus­try and be­lieve in their tal­ent.

Man­doza was full of life and did not al­low any­thing to get him down, even in his fi­nal days, said Arts and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Nathi Mthethwa.

“This was a brave lion. He looked death in the eye and said ‘ iyahlanya le cancer’,” Mthethwa said.

The ser­vice was a trib­ute and a com­ing to­gether of vet­eran kwaito artists. —Times Live

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