egendary singer, songwriter, and former member of Sankomota famously known as “The Village Pope” Tsepo Tshola has passed on due to Covid-19 related illness at the age of 67!
Statements released by his family, EWN reporter, and fellow musician Mzwakhe Mbuli confirmed that the ‘Ho Lokile’ singer passed away in his home country of Lesotho on Thursday the 15th of July.
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EWN Reporter tweeted “[BREAKING] #TshepoTshola Legendary songwriter and musician Tsepo Tshola has passed away.” EWN Reporter continued with the tweet by saying “#TshepoTshola had been hospitalized after contracting Covid-19”, while Mzwakhe Mbuli confirmed the time of his death saying “He died in Lesotho this morning. We got confirmation from his aunt who is in Lesotho that he died around 6am. We are told that he was fine just a few weeks ago. He even attended the funeral [of a close family member] in Lesotho”.
Since the news hit headlines, many South African celebrities have expressed how the death of Tsepo Tshola has caused so much sadness to the nation. Actress and presenter Dineo Langa tweets how there was no celebration, wedding, or funeral without the artist playing in the background. “Tsepo Tshola has been part of every celebration and loss in most of our homes. Ha hona mokete kapa lefu mo o sa utlwing Ntate Tsepo Tshola teng. It’s like his voice held space for black joy and black pain. It feels like someone just shot a missile through our artistic DNA.” While Actress Terry Pheto thanks him for all the beautiful music she enjoyed with her late father “My late dad and I loved Ntate Tsepo Tshola so much. This is so sad. Rest in peace and thank you for the beautiful music Ntate”.
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Lesotho-based Television broadcaster Nthakoana Ngatane has expressed how today is one of the saddest days of her life. “one of the most devastating days of my life. Music icon Tsepo Tshola died this morning after testing positive for Covid-19.”
Born in Teyateyaneng in Lesotho, Tsepo Tshola was raised by music-loving parents who were involved in choirs with his father being a preacher and his mother being a woman of prayer, it can be said that the musician was influenced at a young age. In 1970, he joined the Lesotho Blue Diamonds as a vocalist then later joined Uhuru followed by Sankomota where he toured the world with trumpeter Hugh Masekela.
Besides producing music, the artist enjoyed soccer, traveling, cooking, and watching quiz shows on television and as much as he was a permanent South African resident, he was attached to his home country where his two sons Katlego and Kamogelo (who are both singers) reside.
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Being known as ‘Ntate Tshola’, the Jazz and Gospel singer has been a blessing to the music industry for more than four decades and has graced both international and national stages. It is sad to see that for all of his greatness and hard work, he had never received a SAMA award but had still managed to tour the world with his music. His classic hits include “Shine Your Light”, “Ntate” and “Nonyane” just to name a few and in 2017 he featured in Cassper Nyovest’s “Superman” single.
Tsepo Tshola will be remembered next to the likes of Sibongile Khumalo, Jonas Gwangwa, Steve Kekana, and sadly Pat Shange who has also passed on earlier today amongst other South African legends that have left us this year.