Keorapetse Kgositsile remembered in New York

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The late Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile is being celebrated in New York, USA. A memorial service is underway at the Hilton Mid Town Hotel in New York.

Kgositsile spent 13 years in exile in the US. It was during that period he became an academic, an activist and a prominent player in the arts industry.

Meanwhile in Johannesburg, many visited his house in Killarney to pay their last respects.

To his fellow comrades, Kgositsile was a man who dedicated his life to the service of the people.

Popularly knows as Bra Willie, Kgositsile’s death has been described as a great loss to the arts.  And to the young generation his work inspires.

Kgositsile has been described as an extraordinary person. “Bra Willie’s contribution spans continents, it spans generations, it spans genres of arts. He is a living link between the writes of the Harlem Renaissance, the jazz movement in America and in South Africa, the black arts movement, the Modupi arts movement and also the wave of poets who have emerged post democracy. There are few people who are able to make those kinds of connections, artistically and personally in one life time. He was extraordinary and so humble,” says poet Lebo Mashile.

South Africans are continuing to send messages of condolences to his family. They include the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation and President Jacob Zuma.

Kgositsile died in Milpark hospital in Johannesburg at the age of 79 after a long illness.

He is survived by his wife Baby Mabalane Kgositsile and five children.

Watch: More on Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile’s official memorial service