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Xitsonga music maestro's achievements honoured

By unknown | Jan 02, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Benson Ntlemo

Benson Ntlemo

The music of illiterate, polygamist traditional healer Daniel "General" Shirinda has received a boost after a school teacher used it as the subject for his master's degree thesis.

Thomas Mahuntsi, a teacher at Nkatini High School in Malamulele, Mopani, Limpopo, graduated at the University of Venda with a master's degree on September 16 last year.

Last weekend, Mahuntsi decided to give credit where it was due and presented his book to the doyen of Xitsonga music at a function held at nearby Makhasa Village.

The book titled A Critical Analysis of MD Shirinda's Songs with Special Reference to their message, theme, value to society and the usage of language was presented to Shirinda before his family, other musicians and members of his community.

In his speech Mahuntsi said he decided on Shirinda's music because even though he was one of the founding fathers of Xitsonga music he had remained an unsung hero.

"As a requirement for my degree, I selected 17 of Shirinda's songs . and found that some promoted health and moral standards as well as religion," Mahuntsi said.

He pointed out that he had not relied only on his own opinion and interpretation of Shirinda's music, but had consulted broadly, including discussions with well-known choral master Shalati Joseph Khosa and Masengahuku Lucas Mabale, a radio announcer at the time when Shirinda's music had dominated the airwaves.

"All of them agreed that the man's music is more valuable than he has been given credit for," said Mahuntsi.

A member of the family, Pastor Simon Shirinda, thanked Mahuntsi for acknowledging Shirinda's music.

He said it vindicated his family who had hosted a function last year to praise Shirinda for having raised his siblings after the death of his father as well as his own children.

Shirinda, who has six wives and 44 children, helped his siblings establish their careers with one becoming a pastor, another a policeman and others entering various professions while of his own children, he raised three teachers, a sound engineer, an electrical engineer, a pharmacist and three school teachers.


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