JOHANNESBURG – The former manager of South African kwaito legend Mduduzi “Mandoza” Tshabalala on Wednesday described his former charge as a professional individual who respected people.
“He respected all the individuals in his creative team, he knew where to fit in and concentrated on his craft, he loved to perform,” Vaughan Eaton said at a memorial service for the star which took place at the Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg on Wednesday.Mandoza, 38, died on Sunday after being diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015, and at the time of his death it had left him him blind in both his eyes.
He reminisced of a moment when Mandoza asked to work in the office and even went out to buy new suits.”He came in on day one, day two and on the third day I found him sleeping in his chair,” Eaton said jokingly.
Eaton had organised councilling with Mandoza and his wife Mpho before his death.
“It was devastating seeing him that way, feeling around to try get a sense of what was going on around him.”
He recalled receiving a call from musician Bonginkosi “Zola ” Dlamini telling him to call Mandoza’s wife to check if everything was going well.
“I saw on social media a week before that Mandoza had died and I called Mpho and she said everything was fine,” Eaton said.
He said Mandoza’s wife Mpho was in tears when he called her to confirm that he had died.
Eaton also urged young artists to learn from Mandoza and concentrate what they were good at and not to try getting involved in all aspects of their career.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said songs like Hloni’phi life, which means respect life, contributed to nation building.
“We should bid farewell and remember the life of Mandoza we should also pay tribute to his wife Mpho,” Mthethwa said.
Mthethwa described Mandoza as a young lion and said his last roar was at his last public performance at the Orlando stadium during an South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) concert two weeks ago. Mandoza made his last performance during an SABC concert where he performed despite being blind.
Mthethwa said he did not know what heaven was like, but he imagined that late musician Lebo Mathosa was the person who welcomed Mandoza.
“Mandoza is a hero that is going to last forever, his footprints will forever be with us,” he said.
Following Mthethwa’s speech, musician Danny K who had a number of collaborations with Mandoza performed a song that he wrote for his late brother. “I wrote this song for my late brother and now I’m performing it for my big brother,” Danny K said.
“Mandoza blessed my life by allowing me into his, the music we made was the best times of my life.”
Mandoza leaves behind his wife Mpho and his three children, Tokollo, Tumelo and Karabo, who remained strong during the proceedings.
The memorial was attended by hundreds of fans who were cheering and dancing in celebration of the late Kwaito legend.