Farewell to a good fellow

WHEN the coffin of the late Charlie "DiBaba" Ndlovu is lowered onto the ground tomorrow it will be his lifeless body that is being buried, but not his fighting spirit.

WHEN the coffin of the late Charlie "DiBaba" Ndlovu is lowered onto the ground tomorrow it will be his lifeless body that is being buried, but not his fighting spirit.

Last Thursday afternoon when I went to drop him off at his Rockville home in Soweto, he said something like: "I'm so weak. What's going on ... I can't understand", as he ambled out of the car.

It was not so much the words he uttered but the conviction with which he said them.

Little did I realise that I was seeing him for the last time. He succumbed to heart failure on Sunday night.

Life had not been kind to Bra Charlie lately. Some two years ago he had to undergo a hip replacement operation, which left him with a limp and walking with the aid of a crutch.

Bra Charlie was also no longer a performing artist, preferring to work behind the scenes .

I used to call him "keyboardist extraordinaire". And though he was small of frame, most would agree that he had great pride, sometimes to his detriment. Most of his friends do not quite understand why he dug in his heels when he was asked to rejoin Stimela, the band he helped popularise in the 80s.

After a colourful 30 years or so as an artist, Bra Charlie "retired" in 1999. H e was happy to spend his "first Christmas" at home that year.

Bra Charlie had a passion for expensive shoes. He would boast that a man needed only three things in life - a beautiful wife, a beautiful house and a good pair of shoes.

We will always remember Bra Charlie as a jolly good fellow. While we shed a tear for his family, his memory will forever remain etched in our minds. Hamba kahle ngulube ye'sganga! Till we meet again.

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