Lucky gave his all at Macufe

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Reggae superstar Lucky Dube surprised many at this year's Macufe festival in Bloemfontein when he performed for a crowd of only about 200 people.

Instead of being demoralised by the paltry crowd, like Jimi Hendrix's legendary performance at the end of Woodstock, Dube gave a spirited performance "as if he was performing for thousands".

This he had always done for more than two decades.

I was one of the lucky 200 that witnessed what turned out to be his last performance before he was murdered on Thursday.

To the surprise of the mostly Rastafarian audience who had travelled from Yeoville, Johannesburg, to see him, Dube performed most of his earlier songs. He did such masterpieces as I am a Slave, Prisoner as well as a selection of his late albums, and wrapped up the show with Respect from his latest album by the same name.

I had never before seen Dube give such a spirited performance. It was as if it was some kind of premonition.

When he wrapped up the show at the Bloemfontein Showgrounds, all of us who witnessed the performance showered him with praises for his professionalism. We forgot we were only 200 after all in a venue that accommodates tens of thousands, thanks to the bad organisation on the part of Macufe organisers.

Perhaps it was best for those of us who were at the show, because we did not have to share this sheer entertainment with hordes of others. It is unbelievable that the man is gone and I will not be able to dance to the music of this superstar again. The dance I did in Bloemfontein was the last one.

Life can sometimes be so unfair, cruel and heart-breaking. Go well Rastaman, and remember Rastas Never Die, for it is only the body that dies, and the spirit continues to live forever.