Guitar maestro Philip Tabane 'was a philosopher'

Singer Abigail Kubeka pays her respects to Philip Tabane. Musicians hope his music will be preserved in archives.
Singer Abigail Kubeka pays her respects to Philip Tabane. Musicians hope his music will be preserved in archives.
Image: KABELO MOKOENA

Hundreds of mourners braved the morning cold and filled the Vista Mamelodi campus to pay their last respects to legendary musician Philip Tabane yesterday.

Tabane died last week at a Mamelodi hospital, aged 78. He was honoured with a performance by the Philip Tabane Malombo Orchestra, performing for the first time at his funeral.

Music promoter and friend Peter Tladi said: "It is ironic that on the day that we bid farewell to Philip, the band performs for the first time.

"One of the things that he spoke about all his life was that he wanted to create a Malombo band and it's quite ironic that on the day that he is leaving, his lifelong dream is being realised."

The mood in the hall was sombre with moments of laughter. His neighbour, Mos Chikane described Tabane as a philosopher and a man who believed in sharing.

"As for me I have lost a neighbour and philosopher. He used to say he wished that money was made of meat so that we spend it all because if we don't spend it, it would rot and expose us. He wanted us to share," Chikane said.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Tabane's son, Azah Muvhango - also a percussionist and songwriter - described the Nkupi and Muvhango hit maker as a good father.

The service was also attended by legendary playwright Welcome Msomi, musician Don Laka and Gauteng MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation Faith Mazibuko.

Mazibuko said the government would develop the Mamelodi Community Centre into a cultural heritage site and name it the Dr Philip Tabane Cultural Hub.

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