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The South African music industry is once again in mourning. Another great musician, Phillip Zozo Mtshali has died.
Mtshali was a member of popular gospel outfit Amadodana Ase Wesile. He died on January 15 after a short illness at the Piet Retief Hospital in KwaZulu- Natal.
Born on May 2 1951 in a small village called Kwa- Khololo in Ladysmith, Mtshali was a talented singer.
He started his primary schooling at Ladysmith, and continued at Njomelane Higher Primary school at Mahlabathini, also in KwaZulu-Natal.
Like many people, Mtshali came to Johannesburg looking for a job and was employed at a leading furniture shop.
While he was working there, his love for music grew and a chance meeting with Tom Mokhati, the leader of Amadodana Ase Wesile, led him to join the group in 1986.
Described as a hard worker by his band mates, the soprano singer was instrumental in the group's success. Mtshali later worked for one of the leading car dealers in South Africa for 20 years, until his death last week.
This week, Mokhati paid tribute to Mtshali. "I have known Phillip since 1985 and he respected his profession. His loyalty to Christ and music made him a great man in the society and in the group. He was a true Christian and humble too.
"As a group we will miss his good voice and dedication to the music. Phillip had a passion for music.
"The Methodists, people of the southern hemisphere and his family have lost a hard worker, who was very calm and dignified. He was a great leader."
Mtshali is survived by his wife, two sons, and siblings. He will be buried tomorrow at Paulpietersburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
The service will be held at his home at 11am.