Genius Jabba's star will light the way for others

Jabulani Tsambo aka HHP.
Jabulani Tsambo aka HHP.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

When Nkululeko "Flabba" Habedi passed away, a part of my hip-hop world died with him. And on October 24 2018, Jabulani "Hip Hop Pantsula" Tsambo's death did away with that world.

The giants of the hip-hop world of today appear tall because they are standing on the shoulders of these giants of the past.

There was speculation around Jabba's death. It was suspected that he took his own life, but the bottom line is Jabba is no more.

It's public knowledge now that he suffered depression for a number of years - and three times in a single year he tried to take his own life but failed. It is reported that among many things that led to his depression is how the entertainment industry recently turned out to be. I am and have always been of the view that the entire entertainment industry in this country is monopolised by very few individuals.

We cannot blame Jabba for becoming depressed over something that might look so minor to us. This shows just how much he loved the industry. For some reasons, good ones, Jabba felt sidelined from the only thing he could really do. Never forget that he almost single-handedly put motswako, Mahikeng and North West province on the map.

He loved his craft and the industry he was in and it looks like in the interest of keeping it great, he became a bit obsessed with it and literally destroyed his health.

About a year or two ago, a video went viral that showed just how depressed he was. Those who know him say he was truly out of character, smoking and swearing on camera, which was something he was not known for.

He was unique. Unlike most of the rappers of today, he knew just when to send a motivational message out to his fans through his music.

He understood the impact of words on people's lives. He instilled a sense of pride in those with a much heavier body weight when he went on to win Strictly Come Dancing in 2007.

As much as he tried to increase the motswako circle, it remains very small to this day. To his friend and producer Thabiso "Thasman" Tsotetsi, Tuks, Morafe, Molemi and others, it is now up to you to set aside your differences and see to it that Jabba's legacy and the nature of his music does not fade into the oblivion of the night.

With hits like Haramme, Thank You Note, Lefatshe je, Hee Banna, Mafikeng, Bosso Ke Mang and others, is there any word in any language that exists which one can use to describe Jabba's genius?

Prof Ivan Van Sertima once wrote that "when a star dies it does not vanish from the firmament. Its light keeps streaming across the fields of time and space so that centuries later we may be touched by a vision of the fire and brilliancy of its former life. The lives of the truly great are just like that."

Jabba was that man.

Tebogo Brown

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