Gospel singer Shuping dies

CELEBRATED Pretoria-based gospel singer Oleseng Shuping, has succumbed to a long battle with pneumonia that struck him after a car crash which left him bedridden and mute in mid-2007.

Best known for his alto singing prowess, the 47-year-old singer's health took a dive and he was admitted to Akasia Private Hospital in Pretoria two weeks ago.

Family spokesperson Lebelo Maleka said Shuping, pictured, spent a week in the intensive care unit before he was moved to an ordinary ward last Thursday.

Maleka said he somehow knew on Friday that Shuping would not make it.

"His condition had worsened to a point that I could not recognise him when I paid him a visit in hospital on that day. He had changed so much that I could tell that he was going to leave this world. When I was about to leave the hospital he started crying and used his lips signalling how grateful he was to me for everything that I had done for him and his family," said Maleka.

Maleka said Shuping was very sick and could not do anything for himself.

He said the singer's death had left his wife Mosobeng traumatised as she believed that her husband would recover.

"His condition brought his wife and children closer because they had to work as a team to ensure that he was comfortable."

When Sowetan visited the award-winning gospel singer's home yesterday, there was a sombre mood as relatives and friends arrived to pay their last respects.

Shuping started his music career at the age of 14 and went on to form a group called Atteridgeville Happy Boys in 1976. Success did not come overnight.

Shuping spent many years searching for a recording deal. In 1992 the outfit finally recorded a debut album called Mahlomoleng Aka.

Shuping's three-platinum status album Ke a Cha Ke a Tuka has sold more than 150000 copies.

He was at the pinnacle of his career when he was involved in a near-fatal car accident in Free State in 2007.

A memorial service will be held at the Akasia Town Hall on Thursday and he will be buried on Sunday .