Hammersdale Residents Give The Late, David Masondo A Moving Send Off

Residents of Hammersdale, a small town south of Durban say they will soon approach the Department of Culture and provincial leaders with a proposal to erect a statue of mbaqanga music icon, David Masondo.

Masondo died of renal failure in Johannesburg last week at the age of 67. The music genius was buried at his home in Hammersdale township of Mpumalanga.

The township, which is usually quiet and sleepy came alive on Sunday when thousands of residents, fellow musicians, political and community leaders descended on the local stadium to pay their last respects to the man who created a unique genre of mbaqanga in the late 70s.

That was the time Masondo, who was by then the leading vocalist and song writer for the Young Brothers  renamed the band Soul Brothers after incorporating artists like keyboard wizard, Moses Ngwenya and lead guitarist Maxwell Mngadi,Thuza Mthethwa,Zenzele Mchunu and others.

“What we want now is for Masondo’s work to be remembered not only here in KZN but throughout Africa. The government must honour him with a statue,name one of the major roads after him and keep his legacy alive for the younger generation,” said Mlungisi Magubane, a local resident.

Another resident of Hammersdale Thulani Sibiya said Masondo was a heroe and deserved to be honoured. Others showered the late singer with praises saying Masondo was always down to earth despite being successful and a celebrity.

“I remember when I met him at a local mall,Masondo stopped to greet me and I felt honoured,” Sibiya told me at the funeral.Among the mourners were Zimbabweans who work and live in Johannesburg.

There were wild cheers when the Soul Brothers took to the stage.The band members mesmerized the mourners with their dance moves.But everyone could feel the absence of Masondo’s soothing velvet voice and energetic dancing which kept fans crying for more during live shows.

The mourners went wild when the Soul Brothers performed some of their greatest hits of the 80s that included the hit singlenmama kaSibongile.The song forced even dignitaries and politicians off their chairs onto the dance floor.They were later joined by Masondo’s family members and his children.

The sounds of the 80s hits reverberated throughout the stadium.The Soul Brothers performance at the funeral was a moving send off for Masondo. It was also to assure concerned fans that the band will not die with Masondo but will continue performing and releasing albums.

Poet Mzwakhe Mbuli said the funeral was a celebration of Masondo’s life as oppossed to his death.Veteran musician Sipho’Hotsticks’Mabuse said when the Soul Brothers entered the music scene,many musicians panicked because their music was popular with fans.

“We were all worried of the Soul Brothers because we thought they would put us out of business,” said Mabuse.

During the 80s, the Soul Brothers, under Masondo’s leadership, toured German, England, France and Japan and sold millions of copies from their 40 albums. -By Thabo Kunene

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