Hundreds of mourners have attended the memorial service of the late disco musician, Dan Tshanda, at the Thohoyandou Town Hall in Limpopo.

The 54-year-old Tshanda died last Saturday in Sandton after a short illness.

“We are very much affected about this death because losing a person like him is a loss to the nation. Remember the songs that he was singing, those are the songs to unify the people and to preserve some of our cultural activities so that at least people should not forget about them. Even if he has a song that was done in 1986, you can see that the vibe is still too much and affects the nation,” says mourner Luvhaivhai Tshivhase.

Tshanda’s fame went beyond South Africa’s borders, as he was always well-received in countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Capitalising on his popularity outside South Africa, Tshanda even made Botswana his permanent home.

Tshanda grew up in Tshiawelo in Johannesburg but his ancestral home was Matangari outside Thohoyandou.

Fans in Thohoyandou say they enjoyed his music as he also performed in Tshivenda in the 1980s, when the language was still marginalised:

“Dan Tshanda was the one who sings for Venda. We have a problem now. We cannot have another person who sings like Dan Tshanda. We are very hurt but we (send our) condolences (to) the family of Dan Tshanda.”

Renowned reggae artist, Colbert Mukwevho of the “Harley and the Rasta Family”, has paid tribute to Tshanda.

Mukwevho says Tshanda shared the stage with many musicians.

“We are very sorry about the passing of Dan, he was very close to me. We should to reason together about the industry and we should share the stage together in many festivals. We have a great loss. This was the man who put the Venda language on the map through his disco. The man was creative and so may God bless his soul,” says Mukwevho.

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