The legendary Xitsonga music icon Samson Mthombeni,, has been laid to rest at N’waxinyamani village, outside Louis Trichardt, in Limpopo.
Mthombeni passed on after a long illness last Sunday. He was aged 74.
He is regarded as the first artist to record a music album in the early 70s. He also performed in the UK and France during his career.
Mthombeni has been lauded for his contribution in the development of the Xitsonga-Xichangana language through his music. Some mourners say they will remember him for his fashion style, that of, wearing a doek and a cloth mainly worn by women.
Meanwhile, police kept an eye on the number of mourners to ensure that the lockdown regulations are not flouted. The mourners also washed their hands with water and soap and used the sanitisers.
ANC pays tribute to Mthombeni, Mashego and Maja
The African National Congress (ANC) has extended its condolences to the family, friends and fans of the late Xitsonga music legend. The party described Mthombeni as a pioneer of the Xitsonga traditional music for over six decades.
(1/2) We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of late Xitsonga traditional music icon Samson Mthombeni, who passed away yesterday at the age of 75. He was a beacon of our heritage who recorded his first track with the then Radio Tsonga which is now Munghana Lonene FM. pic.twitter.com/8fpMDaL3wS
— Department of Arts & Culture (@ArtsCultureSA) April 6, 2020
“He topped music charts in the 70s and 80s, and continued to bridge the gap between old and new tradition in music. Mthombeni used his music not only for entertainment but to also heal wounds in society. In February 1977, when the Rivolwa mountain disintegrated due to heavy rains, causing rocks to roll down, destroying homes and claiming lives, Mthombeni composed a song of lament that focused on the tragedy. He also composed a song about the 1976 students uprising,” the party said in a statement.
Mthombeni was awarded Living Legend status at the Xitsonga Music Awards in 2005.
Rest In Peace Samson Mthombeni you will be remembered for being in the front of the Xitsonga music. Your legacy is richly cream that we salute you. Thanks to @Djbrianrikhotso @Munghana for the files and platforms respectively. @Djbrianrikhotso thanks for your good work pic.twitter.com/N2yIlFXIfB
— #CollisChabaneCulturalHeritageFestival2020 (@RealKingChauke) April 5, 2020
The late Maja won the hearts of South Africans on the Thobela FM daily radio drama, Mahlakung, where he played the character of Bra Tick.
#Mahlakung e wele ka mahlong. Moraloki wa tshwantshetso tsweledi ya Mahlakung o robetše boroko bjo bogolo. Mahlankga Charlie Maja, Bra Tick, ga a sale gona, o robetše mesong ya lehono, morago ga bolwetši bjo bo kopana. Robala ka kgotso! pic.twitter.com/jOs06wMWvw
— Thobela FM: Mengwaga ye #60ReFiša? (@ThobelaFMYaka) April 9, 2020
Maja also played the role of Big-Boy Mabitsela on popular SABC TV soapie, Skeem Saam.
“Maja’s character appealed to many viewers when he turned his abusive lifestyle around and became a pillar of strength for his son as they went through a series of difficult family life challenges in the soapie. This role symbolised the required interventions in dealing with challenging issues facing many families and communities in real life situation,” the party said in a statement.
You may be gone for now but you live forever in our memories and in our hearts.
Thank you so much for who you were, we love you and we wish you a peaceful sleep.
RIP Charles BIG BOY Maja. Our family will never be the same again! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/TuOVYMNUF6
— Skeem Saam 8 (@SkeemSaam3) April 9, 2020
The governing party also paid tribute to former Jam Alley presenter and actress Vinolia Mashego who passed away on Monday at her home in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria. She featured on popular soapies such as Generations and Muvhango.
Mashego was laid to rest on Friday.
“The performing arts industry has been robbed of this great talent, which had great potential to fly the South African flag high beyond our borders. To the bereaved families and friends we say may you find solace in knowing that your loss is the nation’s loss,” reads an ANC statement. – Additional reporting by Thabang Nkgweng
In the video below, TV personality Vinolia “V-Mash” Mashego is laid to rest in Mamelodi: