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HHP's widow sets the record straight on rapper's award at Samas

Lerato Sengadi in court
Lerato Sengadi in court
Image: Kgothatso Madisa

Just a few days before the late motswako rapper HHP, real name Jabulani Tsambo, becomes the youngest recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the South African Music Awards in Sun City this weekend, his widow Lerato Sengadi is putting out fires.  

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, Sengadi addressed accusations recently levelled at her by Seabelo Modibe, the rapper’s business partner at Lekoko Entertainment, in a Sunday World newspaper report.

Sunday World quoted Modibe saying that Sengadi was not entitled to accept the award on the late rapper’s behalf as she was not his wife and had not informed him as the business partner nor the Tsambo family of the decision.

Modibe is quoted as saying: "I received a call from Jabulani's family wanting to know what is happening after they read in the papers that she would be receiving the award on his behalf. I didn't know anything and I phoned Universal Music Group and asked them if they played a role in this. They too said they didn't know anything about it.” 

This was in response to the announcement that Sengadi would be collecting the award in her husband’s honour.

She has rubbished Modibe’s claims, saying that she applied to the Samas and the Recording Industry of SA (Risa) as Tsambo’s customary wife.

She further goes on to say that she had informed Jabulani’s mother, Theriso Tsambo, via e-mail on May 21 that the honour would be bestowed on her son.

She also states that an e-mail was sent to Tsambo’s son Leano’s maternal grandmother, who is his legal guardian. 

“This award is to further cement Jabba’s icon status within the music and entertainment industry, and it is unfortunate that Mr Modibe would use such a celebratory occasion to mare Jabba’s illustrious career as well as ‘villainise’ myself,” the statement reads in part.

Sengadi further stated that Leano would not be able to attend the event which is taking place on May 31 and June 1 in Sun City as it falls on his birthday weekend.

Modibe said she was concerned that Sengadi didn't consult HHP's family about the award.

"The issue I'm having with you [Sengadi] is not that about the award or who has to receive it. My issue with you is going behind our back and submitting Hip Hop Pantsula's name for an award without consulting the parents or sisters let alone his record company Universal Music Group South Africa."

Read the statement in full below:

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