Mbaqanga icon Tshabalala to be laid to rest tomorrow

MBAQANGA icon Saul Keke Tshabalala, who died in a car accident on Sunday, will be buried tomorrow.

MBAQANGA icon Saul Keke Tshabalala, who died in a car accident on Sunday, will be buried tomorrow.

Tshabalala was born on September 25 1935 in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.

The veteran mbaqanga singer began singing in the 1960s in Nelspruit when mbaqanga dominated the music scene.

Tshabalala later moved to the city of gold looking for greener pastures.

In 1964 he founded Izintombi Zesimanjemanje with Vala Nzimande.

The group was made up of Sana Mnguni, Thopi Mnguni, Nunu Maseko, Jane Dlamini and Thoko Khumalo.

Tshabalala was the lead singer and composer of the group. He parted with the group in 1976 to pursue a solo career.

"I met Saul in 1968 when I joined the group. Since we were young then he was like a father to us and we learnt a lot from him," Dlamini said.

"He was very energetic on the stage and a good singer too. He was also very good with choreography. He was a good listener and worked well with us until we parted ways in 1976."

After leaving the group Tshabalala dropped his first album Izinkomo Zamabhela. The album was followed by Usinkwa no Banana and Isidudla Sika Josefa Siyadidizela.

His last album was Amahubo, which he recorded in 1999.

Tshabalala is survived by 12 children and a sister.

The service starts at home at 4557 Langeni Street, Daveyton, from 9am. The cortege leaves for Lalangoxolo Crystal Park Cemetery in Benoni at 12.30pm.

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