Mahlangu sings for his friend

Gugu Sibiya

Gospel music lovers will relive Vuyo Mokoena's charismatic performances when his childhood friend, Solly Mahlangu, momentarily steps into his shoes at the Mavuso Exhibition Centre in Manzini, Swaziland.

A pastor at his Word Praise Christian Centre International in Tembisa Church, Mahlangu grew up with Mokoena.

Mahlangu shared lots of dreams and confidences with his late friend. On Saturday night he will take the Swazi audience through the late gospel artist's repertoire when he pays tribute to the late gospel star.

"They could not have chosen a better person," Mahlangu says. "I knew Vuyo long before his debut album.

"We used to sing together at eMelodi. In those days we were really into gospel. We influenced each other musically and otherwise.

"We spent hours talking about our aspirations and how we were going to change the world, helping people and society at large" reminisces Mahlangu.

Mahlangu says Mokoena's death was untimely.

"When he was sick he rose from his bed and gave us hope that he would get well. No sooner were we sure then he left quietly.

"So it's great to pay tribute to Vuyo in a couple of songs, highlighting the fact that he left an indelible mark on his fans.

"Vuyo is gone but the song goes on and those who are here and able to carry the torch will do that," he said.