Friends, musos celebrate the life of 'music genius' Magesh

'He was a visionary, a brother's keeper, a unifier and a philosopher'

Local music industry gathered in numbers to celebrate the life of late kwaito musician Tokollo Tshabalala at a memorial service on Wednesday afternoon.

The service took place where it all started for Magesh – as he was affectionately known during his school days at St Stithians College in Bryanston – northern Johannesburg.

Tshabalala, who was a member of TKZee, died last week Monday and was buried on Friday. The service, which was full of music and jokes celebrating a true "tsotsi from van toeka", was attended by giants of the industry like Oskido, Cleo, Guffey, Zwai Bala, Gwyza, family and music lovers.

Speaker-after-speaker praised Tshabalala for exceptional talent and drive to take the industry to another level. Tshabalala, who was regarded as one of the greatest songwriters, was praised for his creativity.

Friend and bandmember Kabelo Mabalane opened the service with a prayer.

Mabalane said: "We will always mourn Tokollo. But today is a celebration of his life. He has impacted each one of us; this country through his music. It all started at the chapel."

Vusi Leeuw, who worked with TKZee, defined Tshabalala as one of the greatest icons and an entertainer of note.

"The journey began at my home in Mofolo, Soweto, when they came to my house. He was a visionary, a brother's keeper, a unifier and a philosopher. He spread love and unity. He was a 'clever' from kasi who studied in elite schools."

Friend Lance MacCormack said: "It has been hard to process the loss last week. He was always coming out with words and phrases. One of them was 'Hola 7'. He had a curious mind and was incredibly confident. Magesh had this swagger."

Oskido, whose real name is Oscar Mdlongwa, said: "For me, TKZee transformed kwaito and he was the leader on that. The group transformed everything. The culture began to grow with the introduction of Mandoza and others.

"They changed the game to say, this has value. It transforms us to understand ourselves as artists."

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