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jackson tour to inspire

By Gugu Sibiya | 2010-02-24 00:00:00.0

JERMAINE Jackson left South Africa yesterday after a two-day whirlwind visit.

JERMAINE Jackson left South Africa yesterday after a two-day whirlwind visit.

Accompanied by his wife Halima Rashid, Jermaine, the brother of late legendary pop icon Michael Jackson, had a quiet dinner with friends - musicians Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse and Yvonne Chaka Chaka - after a hectic day touring Soweto.

They visited the old Mandela house in Vilakazi Street and Hector Pieterson Square before sampling the local cuisine at Sakhumzi Restaurant - all in Orlando West.

Before tucking into the inviting dinner at Barrington's Restaurant at the Killarney Mall in Johannesburg, Jackson spent some time motivating boys from Bethsida House in Berea.

Sitting next to the man whose family is known all over the world for their music talents, I found him soft-spoken like his late brother. The only relic from the past was his famous hairstyle.

"In order to honour our brother's memory and legacy, we have decided to go all over the world to start charities that will encourage young men to improve their lives.

"We encourage them to find their dreams, work on them and never give up. We tell them that we come from humble beginnings. We grew up in a two-bedroom house but it was full of love, respect and values that shaped us," he said.

Jackson encouraged families to spend as much time as possible with each other because that way it's easier to instil values.

"Children who grow up like that always have the ability to look after themselves."

He said the family was still mourning Michael's death.

"The world lost one of the greatest talents and I lost my kid brother. He was not that sick. It was these conspiracies against successful black men. He loved children so much and in the end they accused him of performing all those atrocious acts on them."

Jackson said it was so sad that one of the boys came forward to confess that he had been coerced to lie only after his brother's death.

The Jacksons left for Gambia, then Dubai and other countries, where similar programmes will be run.