Sowetan

CHOIR MASTER FALLS SILENT

- Benson Ntlemo

CHORAL music doyen Shalati Joseph Khosa’s legacy seems set to continue long after his death.

Khosa, who died at the Phalaborwa Mediclinic on July 3 after a short illness, will be buried at the Mabayeni Cemetery in Malamulele tomorrow.

Khosa, 77, has composed more than 1 000 folk songs, most of which were prescribed for music competitio­ns.

He was born at Mapapila, then known as Shingwedzi, in 1936. It was here where he herded the family ’ s cattle until he was 16.

He went to Merwe and Khanani schools in his youth, and later qualified as a teacher at the University of the North, now the University of Limpopo. He became a teacher, and later principal, at Nkatini High School. Khosa, who was also a subject adviser, later became a circuit manager.

He held a Bachelor degree and a Masters in Musicology from the University of Pretoria, a BA degree from Unisa, a Teacher’s Diploma from University of the North, a certificat­e in music and a French language certificat­e from Louisiana University in the US.

ANC Limpopo task team chairman Falaza Mdaka lamented this week: “He was an icon who will be difficult to replace.”

Kruger National Park spokesman William Mabasa also praised Khosa’s humility, despite his iconic stature. Khosa wrote Great Wilderness Great for the park’s 110th Anniversar­y in 2008.

Khosa has also composed spe- cially commission­ed renditions for the South African Airways, Eskom and Sasol. Among many awards, he received the Pretoria University ’ s Chancellor’s Award and the Limpopo Premier’s Anglo-Platinum Award. A choral music festival in his honour was also run by SABC ’ s Munghana Lonene FM in Polokwane.

In the 1980s, he composed Afrika Lontshwa (new Africa), which was sung in both Shangaan and English by an internatio­nal mass choir under his baton at an Eisteddfod in Roodepoort on the West Rand.

Khosa’s funeral service will be held at New Era College in Malamulele tomorrow at 7am, before he is laid to rest at Mabayeni cemetery. He is survived by his wife, three siblings, seven children and three grandchild­ren.

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