Sat Oct 22 09:18:09 CAT 2016

Bheki's life celebrated

By unknown | Sep 29, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Thousands of jazz lovers descended on KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend to bury South African music maestro Bheki Mseleku.

Mseleku's funeral service was turned into a celebration and a reunion as the who's who of jazz mingled and danced to the best music provided by bands in attendance. The service was held at the Mobeni Heights Hall on Saturday.

Jazz groups took turns to perform. A mong them were Andile Mseleku, Duze Mahlobo, Swazi Dlamini, Feya Faku, Tu Nokwe and Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse.

The funeral procession and service were led by Christians and Muslims, since Mseleku was a friend to all and every religion was equal in his eyes. His body was dressed in the to Islamic tradition.

S'bu Mseleku hailed Bheki as a citizen of the world.

"His spirit will live on," Mseleku said. "He was not only South Africa's son but represented Africa in the world with his brilliant music."

Many speakers said Bheki was a brilliant jazz musician who at an early age taught himself to play various instruments.

Born in Lamontville, south of Durban, he joined the band Spirits Rejoice as an organist in Johannesburg when he was in his 20s.

He moved to London after the 1976 student upheavals, where he became a leading member of London's jazz revival scene.

His brother Thami Mseleku said his brother had made the family proud.

Sister Millicent Mseleku-Chaise said she admired her brother's strength, warmth and smile. She urged people not to grieve but to celebrate his life.

"Bheki was everything to us but his children have lost a best friend. He taught them love and peace," she said.


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