Outpouring of love and grief at death of rapper HHP

HHP died on Wednesday afternoon.
HHP died on Wednesday afternoon.
Image: Gallo Images/City Press/Muntu Vilakazi

Friends and family streaming in to the Randburg home of late rapper Jabulani 'HHP' Tsambo are leaving in tears as the reality of their loss sets in.

Those close to the late musician visited his home soon upon hearing of his passing  on Wednesday. Among those who made it to the house was long time friend and producer Thabiso “Thasman” Tsotetsi.

Thasman shared a 20 year friendship with the rapper and also produced for him from their days in Mafikeng. The producer said he was hurting. “My body is aching. My head is pounding. I am numb,” he told the press outside HHP’s home. He said he will remember Jabba as "a creative genius. He would walk in to the studio and you would give him one line and he would turn it in to a hit."

“He is the best friend anyone can have. He was loving, caring and a giving person,” said Thasman.

The producer last spoke to Tsambo on Friday and he says the rapper was jovial.

Also at the Randpark Ridge home was rap legend Amukelani “AMU” Tshwane. The producer rapper said the death had left him numb. He said he will remember Jabba’s smile the most. “When you arrive at the house the first place he will take you is to the studio to show you what he is working on.”

Amu said HHP had helped artists from his hometown get to the industry. Amu said HHP was one of the first artists to have come to Johannesburg from Mafikeng in an attempt to break in to the industry. “He had a good heart. All the artists that came from Mafikeng arrived at either Jabba’s or Thasman’s house,” Amu said.

Cars had taken up Catalenti Drive as neighbours returned home in the afternoon. The neighbours were shocked upon hearing of the artist’s death. Domestic workers who worked in the neighbourhood said the celebrity was very kind to them and they would visit his home at times.

A domestic worker who said Jabba had been like a child to her saw him on a daily basis and had come to see to him as her child. “He treated everybody with kindness regardless of whether you are a domestic worker or  a gardener,” she said.

The workers said the rapper allowed them to use his treadmill for exercising. They said one time, one of them had gone in to his house and found him shooting his album cover. “He said: ‘mama mama come and take photos with me.” She did and ended up in the album cover.

Another friend who was there was rapper Thebe “Lection” Lekhonkhobe who also hails from Mafikeng. The rapper met HHP through Thasman and struck up a decade long friendship. Lection says he wants to remember Jabba 'as a bubbly person.' "He was funny for days. Young people need to know that he played a big role in our lives as hip hop artists.”

The family released a statement on Wednesday evening requesting privacy at the moment. “It is with heavy hearts that we confirm that Jabulani Tsambo, known to his fans as Hip Hop Pantsula, passed away today, Wednesday, 24 October 2018. At the time of his passing he was 38-year-old. He is survived by his wife, his parents, two sisters, his son and nephew," wrote family spokesperson Edgar Makgeledise

South Africans took to Twitter on October 24 2018 to pay tribute to hip-hop star HHP as news of his death spread through the country. Details of his death were not yet clear.

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