Dignitaries along with music gurus and friends across the country on Wednesday came together to pay tribute to the memory and legacy of the late legendary music icon Tšepo Tšola – a clear pointer to the enormous impact the late Afro jazz maestro had on the people of his country.
The memorial service was held at the Thaba Bosiu cultural village amphitheatre.
The Lesotho event took place a few days later after the South African community of artists, the government and public had their own event to honour the late legendary singer at the Jo’burg theater last week Thursday.
Scores of speakers hailed the legendary singer and music composer as a true Pan Africanist.
The service that was broadcast live on Lesotho National Broadcasteing Services had a lineup of dignitaries and artistes sending their deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of the late Afro jazz and gospel icon.
“The Village Pope” as the muso was popularly known, was described by many as a hugely inspiring figure whose impact, beyond his music, generated waves of vibration across diverse populations around the globe.
Another legendary singer Puseletso Seema expressed her sadness brought about by the news of the passing of Tšola whom she said he was on her case about having a song together.
“I am not crying but my tears have dried, as a mother of most singers in the industry Tsepo Tšola like many of them was my son in the industry. I am quite saddened by the fact that he had recently approached me and said ‘granny, I want us to record a song together because I see that you get sick a lot and I am worried you will possibly leave me’.
“He went as far as saying it will be the last one and at the time I did not understand when he said the last one, unfortunately now it all makes sense. Sadly, it seems he meant he was the one who would leave me behind,” she said.
His last born son Katleho Tšola gave a moving eulogy
“We had a special relationship especially because for me he was the single parent who gave me his all since I was only three months when my mother died,” Tšola said.
“My father was very influential to me because of our relationship which is why I decided to go into the music industry.
“From the deepest places in our hearts we wish to send our condolences to you the fans, friends, lovers of music and all for your loss. To the people of Lesotho, South Africa, Africa and the world over, we will forever be grateful for your acceptance and respect you gave to The Village Pope,” he remarked.
Speaking on behalf of the government of Lesotho the Minister of Communications Science and Technology Tšoinyane Rapapa said the late Tšola was instrumental in teaching the government on issues of music and artists.
“I plead with you all those who continue to sing and make music to be like him and teach us but also allow us to guide you especially now during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Please abide by the rules, regulations and protocols that the government put in place in order to protect all of us from the scourge of the virus,” Rapapa said.
Some of the artists who graced the event with song include Mosito Sentšo, Majisto (Limpho Makhetha), Budaza Mapefane, Sephiwe Nzima-Ntšekhe and Selimo Thabane
Tšola died on Thursday, July 15, some 30 days before his 68th birthday, from COVID-19 related complications.
His final send-off will be held in Thaba-Bosiu, at the Heroes’ Acre today.