Metro (Lesotho)

Artistes remember ‘Village Pope’

- KABELO MASOABI

MASERU – Dignitarie­s along with music gurus and friends across South Africa last week Thursday came together to pay tribute to the memory and legacy of Tšepo Tshola - a clear pointer to the enormous impact the late Afro jazz maestro had on the people of Africa. Scores of speakers hailed the legendary singer and music composer as a true Pan Africanist. His memorial ceremony was held at the Joburg Theater. The service that was broadcast live on SABC 1 andYouTube had a lineup of dignities and artistes sending their deepest condolence­s to the family, friends and fans of the late Afro jazz and gospel icon. Tshola also widely known as “The Village Pope” was described by many as a hugely inspiring figure whose impact, beyond his music, generated waves of vibration across diverse population­s around the globe. "His deep roots and extensive connection­s with the continent of Africa were unshaken. Through his songs, he fought for freedom, justice and peace, including racism, with unreserved energy and full determinat­ion. He supported the fight against Apartheid in SA," said the South African Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa. Moses Seyokane, who sang with Tshola in the legendary Lesotho band, Sankomota recalled how the former SA President Nelson Mandela pushed for the group to campaign for the African National Congress (ANC), after he watched them perform in London, Britain in the 1990's. "Tshola then led in the song titled "Stop the War" which played a big role in pioneering the end to the war that raged between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). For his part, the Master of Ceremony, Baba Ndlovu, called Tshola the "Great Golden Son of Africa" who via his music, paid numerous visits to countries and met with different leaders on the African continent. "I'm thankful that the Lesotho government has found him equally an asset as we do in SA - his second home. We have learnt that he will be buried among heroes in Lesotho.” Among others who paid tribute to the late artiste was fellow musician and Tshola’s personal friend, Caphius Semenya who is now in his 80's. He said: "I know Bra T, did not mean to go now, but let's be comfortabl­e with that. I'm saying this because he has left in a way that is sad. For us who knew him well, it is devastatin­g. Go well my friend and one day we shall meet again". Tshola died on Thursday, June 15, aged 68, from COVID-19 related complicati­ons. His final send-off will be held in Thaba-Bosiu, at the Heroes' Acre on Friday, July 30.

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 ??  ?? The late Tšepo Tshola will be laid to rest in Thaba-Bosiu on Friday
The late Tšepo Tshola will be laid to rest in Thaba-Bosiu on Friday

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