lion roars no more

GOSPEL singer Oleseng Shadrack Shuping has died at the age of 47.

GOSPEL singer Oleseng Shadrack Shuping has died at the age of 47.

Born in Bochabelo, Welkom, and raised in Atteridgeville west of Pretoria, Oleseng was one of the best-selling gospel musicians.

In 2006 he was involved in a near-fatal car accident that left him paralysed.

Since then his health had been poor especially in winter when he struggled to operate with one lung. This led to his death at Akasia Hospital, in Pretoria North, on Monday.

Raised in a Christian family where going to church was a way of life, Oleseng's music career began at the age of 14.

He joined a group called the Atteridgeville Happy Boys.

For 16 years they played the social circuit, without a thought of recording their music.

They were inundated with pleas from people who had heard them sing to record their music.

In 1992, the Atteridgeville Happy Boys released its debut album titled Mahlomoleng Aka. They went on to release 11 more albums.

It was in 1998 when Oleseng felt ready to pursue a solo career. He started off with the album Segopole Boikgantsho, which did well.

What set Oleseng apart was that he had an ability to write about his own life experiences that people could easily relate to and produce music that teaches, heals and entertains.

Endowed with a passion and commitment to spread the word of God, he had the ability to produce gospel rhythms and melodies that made his offerings enjoyable to gospel music fans.

He recorded big-selling albums such as I need Your Touch, Tse Ratwang,Double Gold Gospel Hits, Dithoriso Diye Go Ntate,Africa, Ha re a tla Ka Boikhantsho, My Shepherd, Kea Cha Kea Tuka, Glory To God, Sentebale le Nna, Ungigqilazelani, Oa Lebona Naa? and Morena Ha Ore Yalo.

When Oleseng died he was at the pinnacle of his career with all his albums achieving gold and platinum status.

His album, Ke a Cha Ke a Tuka sold more than 150000 copies, achieving three platinum status.

Oleseng is survived by his wife, children and brothers.

His funeral will take place on Sunday with the service commencing at the Akasia Town Hall in Pretoria North at 7am.

A memorial service will be held at the same hall next Thursday between 11.30am and 1.30pm.