Ailing kwaito star Mandoza got a hero’s welcome at the Thank You SABC Music Concert that was held at Orlando Stadium, Soweto, on Saturday.
Among his crew were his wife Mpho, two sons, his mother, as well his friend and former bandmate from Chiskop, General.
Born Mduduzi Tshabalala, the musician, looked frail and weak. By the time he came on stage, the crowd was already calling his name.
He walked to the stage with his wife and friend by his sides who put their arms around him as he performed to ensure he did not fall.
The star first performed a song called Bangani Bami (my friends). In the song, he calls on his friends to come to his place where there will be plenty of fun.
After the song Mandoza looked tired, but the crowd called for Nkalakatha, his biggest hit. When he performed the requested hit song, he came alive with a spike of energy.
Earlier on the day rumour mongers on social media were spreading news about Mandoza’s death. The star assured his fans that he was very much alive.
He further thanked fans for their support over the years.
“I am still alive, le khensa iyahlanya (this cancer cannot defeat me).
“I want to thank you all for your prayers. I made it this far because of your support.
“I have never called myself Nkalakatha (big shot), it was God. And He is the one who has control of our lives.”
His family asked for prayers last week when they announced that his cancer had spread to his brain.
Meanwhile, the Thank You SABC Music Concert failed to attract a large crowd and was beset by glitches, starting with security guards refusing access to musicians who had to wait for hours before performing.
The musicians who performed gave their all.
Event organiser Mzwakhe Mbuli denied that the concert had been poorly marketed.
He said for an event that happened for the first time, and without financial support, it had done fairly well.
He said the idea for the show came before the recent local government polls.
“Personally, I was pleased. It could have been better but there were many challenges. We had a great sound system.”
“Many artists wanted to be part of this, but because we did not have money, it was impossible to allow all of them to perform.
“Yes, we are aware that we are owing artists money.”
Among artists and groups who performed were Nothembi Mkhwebane, Don Laka, Kholeka, Phumi Maduna, Abigail Kubheka, Dorothy Masuku, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Deborah Fraser, Soweto String Quartet, Arthur Mafokate, Doc Shebeleza and Chomee.