JOHANNESBURG – Kwaito singer Mduduzi Tshabalala, also known as Mandoza, has died at the age of 38.
The star produced multi-platinum hits like Nkalakatha, Godoba and Sgelekeqe, and collaborated with Danny K on Same Difference.
Mandoza started his career with Chiskop, a kwaito group formed with three of his childhood friends.
Mandoza, who became a star across the South African spectrum with his runaway hit Nkalakatha in 2000, recently discovered the cancer he thought he had beaten last year had returned.
The singer, whose real name was Mduduzi Tshabalala, was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a cancer that attacks the tissue in the upper part of the throat behind the nose.
A tumour pressing on his orbital nerve had caused Mandoza to go blind – but it wasn’t enough stop him performing in Orlando last Saturday. He was helped on stage by friends, much to the crowd’s frenzied delight.
Sithole stated in a series of tweets that he is currently at family home in Soweto with a relative.
“That moment when you are close to a situation but you can’t report about it due to the fact that one of your close friends is a relative‚” Sithole tweeted.
Sithole went on to break the news to fans on social media. “Breaking news: Legendary kwaito musician Mandoza has passed away.”
Sithole added that he would report on full details after family members had been informed.
“I will only be able to give full details after family members have been informed. In a awkward situation.”
Mandoza’s producer, Gabi le Roux posted the following message on Facebook on September 6: “Mpho and the Tshabalala family has asked all his friends and fans to pray for him, beckon the ancestors and keep him in your thoughts during this time.”
Devastated! Sad sad day for all South Africans. My friend and music legend is gone. My deepest condolences to Mpho and the family #Mandoza 😢
— Danny K (@dannykmusic) September 18, 2016
May his soul RIP. I remember I bought Mandoza’s first album (925 Zola South) with school fees money. pic.twitter.com/x9r8iSESVQ
— Tsepiso Nzayo (@TsepisoNzayo) September 18, 2016
Damn man!!! Mandoza left us??? Argh no man!!! This life thing is sooo short. #RIP to the legend!!!
— FillUpOrlandoStadium (@CassperNyovest) September 18, 2016
RIP to Mandoza – a life cut short but well lived.
— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) September 18, 2016