Artistes vow to continue their work

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Musicians in KwaZulu-Natal have pledged to continue the work of late singers Lebo Mathosa and Jabu Khanyile through a campaign to reduce the death toll on South Africa's roads.

The artistes, all road safety ambassadors in the province, have composed road safety songs in conjunction with the KwaZulu-Natal department of transport, and yesterday honoured Mathosa and Khanyile for their contributions.

Mathosa died last month and Khanyile two weeks ago.

At a ceremony in Durban yesterday to honour the two artistes, the local musicians vowed to carry on where the two had left off in promoting road safety.

Phuzekhemisi Mnyandu said Mathosa's and Khanyile's deaths did not mean that it was the end of the fight against the carnage on the roads.

He said they would continue preaching the gospel of road safety until there were no more deaths on the roads.

"They left us with a challenge of not only following in their footsteps, but to continue preaching this gospel. They might be gone but what they did was more than just awareness. It was about the lives of the ordinary South Africans," Mnyandu said.

Bheki Ngcobo, popularly known as Hhasheli'Mhlophe in music circles, who sang Ungavumi together with Khanyile, said paying tribute to the two musicians was befitting their commitment and role in making South Africa a safer place.

"We might not be able to replace them, but we can walk the path they walked. We will carry on the fight and the challenge," said Ngcobo.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for safety and security Bheki Cele, said the road safety messages Mathosa and Khanyile had conveyed through their music were vital for society. "The Qaphela, Qalaza, Phepha song was one of the most dynamic and vibrant road safety messages that reached the ears of millions of young and old South Africans.

"It is through hard work, dedication and determination that the lives of Khanyile and Mathosa will be celebrated and remembered," said Cele.

Hhasheli'Mhlophe, Boom Shaka, Mthunzi Namba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Phuzekhemisi were among the artistes who performed yesterday.