Steve Kekana was a true icon for SA, says premier Mathabatha

Music legend laid to rest at his Limpopo home village

Mpho Koka Journalist
FILE IMAGE: Steve Kekana during the 20th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival on March 29, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) referred to as 'Africa's Grandest Gathering' is the largest music festival in sub-Saharan Africa.
FILE IMAGE: Steve Kekana during the 20th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival on March 29, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) referred to as 'Africa's Grandest Gathering' is the largest music festival in sub-Saharan Africa.
Image: Gallo Images / Dereck Green)

In a moving tribute, Limpopo premier Stanley Mathabatha described legendary musician Steve Kekana as a dedicated performer and musician whose music was loved by people across the African continent.

Mathabatha was speaking at the special provincial funeral service held on Thursday in honour of the music icon at his home at Moletlane village, Zebediela, near Polokwane. It was attended by his relatives, friends, traditional leaders, colleagues in the legal and music industry and government officials, among others. 

Famous for hits such as Take Your Love, Kekana died last week Thursday at the age of 62 after Covid-19 complications.

Mathabatha described Kekana as a bright star for the Limpopo and the nation at large.

“The great baobab tree has indeed fallen. The arts and entertainment industry has lost one of the most dedicated musicians and performer. The legal fraternity has lost a sound and admired legal mind. The government of South Africa has lost a valued advisor and a great ambassador. The people living with disabilities have lost a great role model, someone who inspirers across generational divide. We have lost a true legend," Mathabatha said.

“The pain of losing a giant of Bra Steve Kekana’s stature is felt beyond our province and beyond the borders of South Africa. Bra Steve Kekana was known and loved across the African continent. He was actually a household name in neighbouring countries such as Lesotho, Botswana and a number of other countries. We are not exaggerating when we say that Bra Steve was a legend in the purest sense of the word.”

Mathabatha also praised Kekana’s ability to sing in multiple languages and use his music to unite all South Africans.

“Very few in the industry across the world can boast over 44 albums. Not everyone can be decorated with over 70 Golden Disc Awards. Literally very few, can produce the kind of music that Bra Steve produced. Very few sang using as many different languages as Steve Kekana did. He sang in English, Sesotho, Sepedi, isiZulu and many other languages. Bra Steve was a true South African artist – an epitome of our desired rainbow nation. His music united South Africans across age groups, gender, tribal and racial lines. That is the inheritance he leaves us with. If we have to speak loudly about honour, Dr Steve Kekena, is a simple of honour himself. Ke Poo ya Mmakaipeya kabo yona,’” said Mathabatha.

Mathabatha said the music legend embodied love for education. 

“If there is anything that our young people can learn from the life and times of Steve Kekana is the fact that he used education as the foundation of everything he desired. Steve Kekana was fairly young when he discovered his musical talent, however, he knew that he did not have to choose between school and his musical passion. Instead, he knew and accepted that with education he would have the ability to take his music to greater heights. Indeed, this was a man who believed in the philosophy of academic excellence and life-long learning. Limpopo was definitely blessed to be served by a leader with such impeccable qualities as Bra Steve Kekana.”

 

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