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Cultural icon Madosini has died

Indigenous music artist Mama Madosini has died.
Indigenous music artist Mama Madosini has died.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Mpahleni who is popularly known as Madosini passed on Friday at St Mary’s Hospital in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, after a long illness, a family statement said.

The legendary indigenous artist who plays indigenous instruments like uHadi, isitolotolo and umrhubhe died just two days before she celebrated her 79th birthday.

The statement read: “Having survived heart attack while she was in a tour in France in 2019, as well as two Covid 19 attacks, her health status could not be back to its normalcy, as a result from time to time she was admitted to hospital. She was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital on December third 2022 where she subsequently succumbed to death at 4.15pm on December 23 2022.”

“Funeral arrangements which are to held at her homestead in Mkhankatho Administrative Area in Libode (about 42 kilometres from Mthatha) are likely to be on the seventh January 2023 (to be confirmed.”

Her daughter Phumza Mpahleni would like her mother to be remembered as a person who like to share indigenous knowledge. “My mother was a loving person and enjoyed sharing her knowledge of indigenous music with everyone. But she was worried that if she dies, indigenous music will die in this country. That is why she wanted everyone to come and get that knowledge from her.”

Paying tribute,president of South African Promoters Asociation (Sampa) China Mpololo who used to manage the legend said: “Thank you Gogo for your service, your country, your culture. We, your people are better today because of you, the last frontier, the best of a generation, you stood untarnished, unshaken in your path and quest to protect our culture, heritage and our indigenous music. Through decades of western arts culture and its influences, you stood firm, rooted in your culture and its beauty.”

“Voice and uhadi only, you needed nothing more to fight, protect and celebrate us, you froze in time in the most beautiful Xhosa imibhaco and intsimbi zamaXhosa (beads) we loved you for it Gogo. Agreatful nation knows that you did your best and bows its head as your great spirit goes home, home to rest. More than a trailblazer, breaker of barriers, you continued present to us to ourselves and the world with grace unparalleled the beauty of our music and culture.”

Over the years Mpahleni has collaborated and written songs with British Rock Singer Patrick Duff and in 2003 they went on to perform a number of successful concerts together around the world.She has collaborated with South African musicians Thandiswa Mazwai, Ringo, Derek Gripper and Gilberto Gil the famous Brazilian musician. Her latest collaboration with musicians Hilton Schilder, Jonny Blundell, Lulu Plaitjies and Pedro Espi-Sanchis has resulted in the recording of an African/jazz fusion CD under the name of AmaThongo and various concerts around Africa.In September this year, Rhodes University in Makhanda honoured Madosini for her role to keep South African indigenous music alive.