Choir icon Makolota laid to rest

Winkie Dibakwane

Winkie Dibakwane

Imilonji ka Ntu choral choir stalwart Thoko Makolota, who died last week, will be buried at Roodepoort Cemetery in Dobsonville, Soweto, on Thursday.

Makolota, formerly of Hillsview in Kagiso, died last Monday at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital after suffering a stroke. She was 62.

She trained as a teacher at St Chad Training College in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, in 1966.

She then went on to teach at Mpumalanga, Emthonjeni, Vezukhuhle and Zifuneleni primary schools, all in Orlando East, Soweto, before retiring in 2004.

"Music was her life, for she lived for music and she found peace by singing," said her cousin, Judith Dube.

The conductor of Imilonji choir, George Mxadana, said Makolota's death had left a big gap in the group.

"She was one of the pillars we relied on since she joined the choir in 1986," he said.

Mxadana said Makolota, a perfectionist and disciplinarian, had contributed greatly to choral music in South Africa.

She had travelled extensively with the choir, both within and outside South Africa, he said.

Makolota's funeral service will be held at the Kagiso Methodist Church from 9am.