Emotional service for singer Mhlongo

2010-06-25 00:00

LOCAL artists, politicians and music lovers paid tribute to late singer, dancer and composer Busi Mhlongo at a special memorial service in Durban yesterday.

The Natal Playhouse came alive with singing from hundreds of people who had gathered to honour Mhlongo.

The singer succumbed to breast cancer a week ago. It was an emotional service, and family and friends broke down when religious songs were sung.

Known as the “Queen of Maskandi”, Mhlongo was a respected singer, dancer and composer.

Premier Zweli Mkhize, eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi expressed their condolences to Mhlongo’s family, who included her sister Janet and her niece Thokozani Phoswa. MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation Weziwe Thusi also met Mhlongo’s family at the memorial.

The memorial began with several Zulu and Xhosa church hymns sung by local artists Thando and Mcedisi. The songs got the crowd on their feet; many said that it was the perfect way to honour Mhongo.

Themba Zulu of KwaMashu said the world has lost a special musician — Mhlongo could not be replaced. He broke into tears as he described her music and the joy it brought to people.

“I’m glad that she is resting now. However, we have lost a great person who lived for music. I pray that her family is strong during this time,” he said.

Another fan, Sihle Ndlovu, said the memorial was a fitting tribute to Mhlongo who had inspired many artists.

“… Busi was a special lady and I know that she is watching us as we remember her,” she said.

Mhlongo will be buried tomorrow.

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