Doctorate for Chauke at last

WHEN Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe confers a doctorate in music on Xitsonga traditional music king Thomas Hasani Chauke he expects to be in a trance.

"My mind will be in a spin," he predicted. "I will be thanking God who has made it possible that the son of Xitlhangoma and Tsatsawani, who dropped out in Standard 3, comes closer to the deputy president of South Africa." Chauke said.

The university has confirmed that it will confer the doctorate on the musician in recognition of his years of nation building through music.

In an interview yesterday Chauke said when he heard he would be honoured he felt humbled.

"I did not know my efforts at nation building through music were recognised even by universities," Chauke said.

His is a typical rags-to-riches story.

Chauke said he hated school like the plague. He bunked classes and went to strum a self-made tin guitar.

In 1979 he initially formed a band, Xikundu All Stars, that later became the Xinyori Sisters. His band became one of the most respected and bestselling in the country.

In 1986 the giant Gallo music honoured him with a diamond disc.

In 2001 businessmen in Giyani organised a celebration for him under the banner of GY promotions to honour his 21st anniversary as a musician.

Later the Bethesda Church under Elijah Mtileni and the Apostolic Faith Mission at Xikundu also honoured him.

The head of the SABC's Munghana Lonene station, Tsakani Baloyi, has also hailed Chauke's honour saying he deserved it.

Chauke has received many platinum discs in his career and has won a Sama 13 times in its 16-year history.