Zombo liked good times

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

The life story of Tebogo Ndlovu, aka Zombo, was one of passion and dedication to his chosen career - a life spent entertaining and serving his fans.

Even if you're not a Kwaito fan, you probably have heard of or seen the blond in-your-face artist whose face was always covered with sunglasses at parties and shows come day or night.

On Sunday, we all shuddered when news of his death filtered through. The former Abashante rapper had succumbed to an Aids-related illness at St Francis Care Centre in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, just a few weeks after announcing that he was infected.

Born on May 3 1979, Ndlovu's persona was illuminated by his radiant personality and propelled by his zest for life and love for the good times. He came to stardom after he got his first endorsement deal from Arthur Mafokate's 999 stable in 1997.

It was his large appetite for the good life that sent him to his death early in his life. Before his fall, he kept tabloid writers busy with his shenanigans. The talented songwriter and singer made headlines for his baby-making sprees and his dagga smoking.

Before his death, Zombo confessed to our sister newspaper Sunday World that he had been sexually promiscuous and that he had no recollection of who may have infected him.

We watched with pride as his talent transcended the walls of kwaito to touch many human hearts and minds. In the 1990s, we danced to his popular tune Mduduzi, unaware that such a talented musician's life would be snuffed out so young.

For a long time he kept his cards close to his chest about what was gnawing at him. But two weeks ago, we all read with broken hearts in Sunday World the news of his HIV status and watched him on SABC1's Live, a shadow of the vibrant muso who had entertained us so much.

In the TV show, he lashed out at 999 boss Mafokate for neglecting him when his health started deteriorating. After the Sunday World story, Mafokate set up a benefit fund for him.

Sunday World also reported that Zombo discovered he was suffering from the disease after undergoing a battery of tests at Sunninghill Hospital last year, where he was admitted after falling sick.

His funeral service will be held at Thusong Youth Centre, No 138 11th Avenue, Alexandra, tomorrow at 8am. He will be buried at Waterval Cemetery at 11am.