Sat Oct 22 15:30:04 SAST 2016

Big 'Tiny' was a humble man

By unknown | Jun 13, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Probably not many people knew Moto "Tiny" Siluma because of his music in general, but in terms of physical stature he loomed large in Johannesburg.

He was a big man...

Musically he released his debut album, Caroline, in 1998.

According to music producer Richard Siluma, "My cousin was the first South African to release a hip-hop album at a time when everybody was concentrating on kwaito and house music".

But those who have been watching television for some time will remember the huge man in that famous hunger-inducing advert for Chicken Licken, win which he acted with veteran comedian Joe Mafela.

It really had a killer effect on the consciousness of the public and became one of those iconic adverts on television.

This popularity unfortunately overshadowed his musical side.

He was a musician who collaborated with several other musicians in the country, notably singer Khanyi Maphumulo.

He travelled regularly with her to overseas destinations.

Born in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, where slain reggae star Lucky Dube was also born, he and his cousins - Dube and Richard Siluma - headed for Johannesburg in the 1980s to look for their musical fortune.

On the few occasions I met him as an arts and culture journalist, the one thing that struck me was his big frame. But there was nothing threatening about him because he was a "cool dude".

The circumstances surrounding this huge man's death are still unclear, just like several such criminally motivated murders in the underbelly of Johannesburg.

But according to his uncle Richard the circumstances still have to play themselves out. Richard has gone on record as saying that his cousin's death was not just an ordinary crime. It was a hit, he believes.

Before the miscreants' bullet took him away at a young age (he was in his early 40s) he had had a fight a week earlier with people in his block of flats in about with how the body corporate ran affairs, Richard says.

Funny enough, shortly before he was shot, three times on the sixth floor of the Wanderers Street block of flats, he had just had a long discussion with friends downstairs.

He is gone but many people will remember him as the big man who made an impact on TV with that Chicken Licken advert.

Tiny will be buried tomorrow at 8am at No.1225 Mthembu Street, Protea Gardens, Soweto.

The cortege will leave at 11am for Lenasia Cemetery.


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