Tributes for SA kwaito star Mandoza

Tributes are pouring in from across South Africa for kwaito musician Mduduzi “Mandoza” Tshabalala who died after a year-long battle with cancer.

Mandoza, 38, took to the stage in recent weeks at a concert at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, despite having lost his sight due to illness.

His friends and family say he was determined to perform until the end.

The musician’s hit song Nkalakatha has been praised for unifying black and white South Africans.

Nkalakatha, a Zulu word which loosely means “the big boss”, was about celebrating success.

South Africans have taken to social media to send condolences to Mandoza’s family, and it has also become a way of honouring and celebrating the star for his contribution to the local music industry, says the BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg.

Many are calling him a “legend”, and he is being lauded for putting up a brave fight and insisting on performing even when his health was failing, our correspondent says.

Mandoza’s friend Kevin Ntaopane, who says the musician died in his arms, spoke to SABC news about his last words.

“He was sick and was under doctor’s orders but he said ‘I’m going to perform and prove to the people that I’m not dead. I’ll die on the stage‚ I’ll die singing.

“‘I was born to do this. And no sickness is going to stop Mandoza.'”

Kwaito is a South African genre of music which emerged in the 1990s, it is a unique dance and house style often likened to US hip-hop.

With most songs being about street culture, it was the sound of South Africa’s new found freedom from white minority rule.

It was a chance for musicians to speak out about equality, poverty, oppression but also hope and overcoming great odds.

His son Tokollo spoke proudly of his father. -BBC

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