Concert for Vuyo Mokoena celebrates life
SOUTH Africa's top gospel musicians will this month honour the late Pure Magic gospel icon Vuyo Mokoena for his contribution to the fraternity and Sicelo Khoza, who he mentored.
Mokoena, who died in 2008 after blinding headaches that tests later revealed were caused by a brain tumour, will be brought back to life on stage.
Sicelo, who was a big fan of Mokoena's, was a young boy when he was introduced to Vuyo by the band Pure Magic's producers, and from there on their relationship grew from being just mentor and learner to that ofbrothers.
"I feel very honoured to be chosen as an impersonator for Vuyo, especially when there are many singers who can do that better than me and who were closer to him than I was," says Khoza.
Chief executive officer of Big Fish Music, gospel legend and the brains behind the event, Sipho Makhabane, says the choice of Sicelo as Vuyo on stage is "to bring back Vuyo on the day of his remembrance".
"Sicelo has that hoarse' voice like Vuyo" and - as they were always together and planning to work together in the future - we thought it might be fitting to have him sing all of Vuyo's hits. Sicelo will be on stage with Rebecca Malope as they did with Mokoena.
"The audience are in for a big treat," says Makhabane.
The Njalo singer's family will be presented with a portrait of the late artist and his wife Tebogo Mokoena, and the children will be presented with gold discs with cash.
Tebogo Mokoena, the icon's wife, says the event has come "at the right time" as the gifts will serve as presents for the kids.
She said: "Karabo will be having his matric dance in May and Lerato will be celebrating her birthday on April 19. Gold is a royal symbol and it is very humbling that their father will be presenting them with such gifts. It couldn't have come at a better time."
She said with excitement that one of the kids has taken after her father as a singer and they are planning on having the young singer as the supporting act on the day of the event.
"We have not forgotten what Vuyo did for gospel music. He did not live to see the fruits of his sweat. With this event we are giving back to him, and what better way than to honour his family," Makhabane says.
The death of Vuyo shocked the nation and the prestige of Pure Magic subsided. Sicelo feels that the group needs to keep Vuyo and his work alive as his music was celebrated by the nation.
"Before he died we had planned to work together, and it was unfortunate that we could not put our plans into action. The album I released in 2009 was supposed be our first work, but God did not allow it. My heart still bleeds, I feel I was robbed of my dreams but if I could be given a chance, I would revive Pure Magic. It is important that it outlives its founder. That is legacy", he says.
The event will also be donating funds to a chosen charity on the East Rand.
"We are honouring Vuyo, we are contributing to social responsibility and we are entertaining the nation," says Makhabane.