Upbeat exit for Bhodloza

2010-07-25 13:13

Not even MaNtuli would miss this farewell.

President Jacob Zuma’s sex scandal-hit wife, Nompumelelo Zuma, came

out of hiding following months of talks around her pregnancy to attend a fitting

farewell party for Welcome “Bhodloza” Nzimande, the grandfather of Zulu radio

and maskandi music.

Seemingly unfazed by the controversy around her pregnancy and an

alleged affair with one of her bodyguards, who committed suicide, MaNtuli

arrived in style – flanked by her best friend, Ukhozi FM radio jock Dudu

Khoza.

Bhodloza, who retired last year, was given a grand send-off at the

Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban on Friday night in a party

that brought together old friends, colleagues, musicians, artists,

businesspeople and political heavyweights.

Among the guests were KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize, SABC

chief executive Solly Mokoetle and his colleague, news boss Phil Molefe.

Playwright Mbongeni Ngema performed with a full band, featuring one

of his three wives, Mpume Gumede.

He performed among others his all-time hit, iStimela saseZola, and

took guests down memory lane.

Also providing entertainment was kwaito group Trompies, featuring

Eugene “Donald Duck” Mthethwa, who also came out of “retirement” to pay tribute

to Bhodloza.

The Soweto group, who travelled to Durban especially for the event,

dished out kwaito hits from their golden albums, and proved they still have it,

with the inimitable Mandla “Spikiri” Mofokeng leading the way.

Grammy award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo, led by Joseph

Shabalala, took a break from their national 50th-year tour to pay tribute to

Bodhloza.

The isicathamiya outfit gave a tear-jerking performance, proving

why they are such a respected international act.

People’s Poet Mzwakhe Mbuli, an old friend of Bhodloza and one of

the most-loved artists in the province, opened proceedings with the popular

poem, Voice of Reason, and then delivered a special poem, A Journey Well

Travelled, dedicated to Bhodloza.

Maskandi icon Bheki Ngcobo, aka Ihashi Elimhlophe, and his red-hot

stage act family, Amaponi, brought the convention centre down.

Funnyman Sam Zondi appeared as his alter-ego Makitaza, complete

with high heels, sunglasses, a doek and leggings. Zondi’s appearance provided

one of the funniest moments of the evening.

But the highlight came in the form of comedian Felix Hlophe, who

took a dig at a president’s wife sleeping with a bodyguard – a direct reference

to MaNtuli, who did not look amused.

Linda “Mr Magic” Sibiya, a doyen of breakfast radio, was in

familiar territory as MC.

Mkhize, who was accompanied by his wife May, had guests in stitches

when he recounted how Nzimande had received his nickname, Bhodloza, in the 70s.

The name stuck with Nzimande after a story Mkhize related about a boy called

Bhodloza while they were at Dlangezwa High School in Empangeni, north of

KwaZulu-Natal.

Unbeknown to the young men, the name would sustain Nzimande through

more than ­several decades of broadcasting.

The maskandi community heralded Nzimande’s diehard commitment to

uplifting and exporting the brand of music, when many thought it was low-class

and uncivilised.

Members of the national broadcaster praised him for his

unshaken values as a leader and employee.

Bhodloza joined the SABC in 1978.

He was a radio announcer for 19

years before he became the station manager of Ukhozi FM in 1997.

Bhodloza presented shows including Sigiya Ngengoma, Ezodumo and

Vuk’Ukhanye.

He now joins Mvunonala ­Investment Consultants as an executive

director.



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