The Mercury

Mandoza the loving husband and father

- June Hlongwane

“I WANT it to be known that Mandoza is no charity case. Many a times you all wait to report (about) musicians’ deaths and say they died as paupers.”

This was the retort from businessma­n Mahlomola Kekana, who worked closely with Mandoza, as he lashed out at the media for what he suggested was sensationa­l and negative reporting about musicians. He said if reporters had been fishing for sensationa­l stories about artists, Mandoza was not the type.

“Mduduzi was a husband, a father from a loving family which will take care of all funeral arrangemen­ts,” said Kekana.

He was speaking at a media briefing at the Soweto Theatre yesterday. Family and close friends of Mandoza took time off from mourning to explain some of the events that have been planned ahead of the funeral of Mandoza, who died on Sunday.

At times, the media briefing seemed to resemble a memorial service. The kwaito star’s son Tokollo Tshabalala, uncle Mzwakhe Tshabalala, brotherin-law Lebogang Mphuthi and manager Kevin Ntaopane were all present to speak of his last days.

Former Chiskop group member Siphiwe “General” Sibisi as well as musician Doc Shebeleza and other local artists were present to support the Tshabalala family. Ntaopane recalled what he witnessed as he held Mandoza during his final moments.

“When his wife Mpho summoned me to their home on Sunday morning, she told me he was not looking good.

“I remember kissing his feet, telling him everything will be okay. Then, just three minutes before we arrived at the hospital he left us. I am still in shock, for I have never witnessed something like that.”

Family spokesman Mzwakhe Tshabalala said Mandoza was set to begin a new type of chemothera­py and had lost his eyesight due to the cancer in his brain.

“His eyesight went two weeks ago and (he) was blind when he died,” Tshabalala said.

He thanked all mourners on social media, radio and television for their support. Mzwakhe particular­ly thanked President Jacob Zuma for his extended condolence­s, saying he was not aware Mandoza was of such importance “to us all”.

Mandoza’s memorial service will take place at the Ellis Park Arena, formally known as The Standard Bank Arena, at noon tomorrow. His burial will take place on Saturday and details will be released soon.

Mandoza succumbed to his long battle with cancer after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May last year. – Additional reporting by ANA

 ?? PICTURE: ITUMELENG ENGLISH ?? Chiskop member Siphiwe Sibisi, aka ‘General’, speaks at a Mandoza press briefing at the Soweto Theatre yesterday. The late singer’s son, Tokollo Tshabalala, and manager and friend Kevin Ntaopane look on.
PICTURE: ITUMELENG ENGLISH Chiskop member Siphiwe Sibisi, aka ‘General’, speaks at a Mandoza press briefing at the Soweto Theatre yesterday. The late singer’s son, Tokollo Tshabalala, and manager and friend Kevin Ntaopane look on.

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