'Musos have abandoned me'

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Thandi Klaasen, a music icon of the 1950s who is in hospital nursing a broken leg, has lashed out at her fellow musicians and promoters for "neglecting" her.

Admitted to Natalspruit Hospital, Klaasen told Sowetan yesterday she now knows who her true friends are in the music industry.

She was admitted to hospital four weeks ago after breaking her leg when she fell outside her home in Edenpark, Germiston.

"Since then I have only been visited by Abigail Kubeka and Dorothy Masuka," she lamented.

When Sowetan visited her she was heavily sedated after a blood transfusion on Wednesday.

"Fellow musicians I toiled with in the trenches during apartheid have completely forgotten about me.

"I am not forcing people to visit me. However, I am saying they must remember those days when we fought together and were harassed by the police.

"I know I am not popular with a certain section of the music industry because of my outspokenness against the tendency by promoters to ship in overseas artists to perform here at the expense of local talent.

"However, I thought because I am in hospital, people would forget that and come and pay me a visit anyway ," she said.

Klaasen said the treatment she was receiving from fellow musicians showed that people in the music industry no longer care about each other's welfare.

"It is a pity because when we grew up with the likes of Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and others, our mothers looked after us just like their own children. But that does not happen anymore," she said.

Thanking Sowetan reporter, Klaasen said: "Thanks a lot for the cake and for remembering me during my hour of need.

"I promise to invite Sowetan to a party at my home when I get out of hospital," she said after we gave her a cake.

The musician added that her Canada-based daughter Lorraine did not take the news of her accident very well.