Mandoza's fiercest fight

By Drum Digital
08 September 2016

South Africa’s beloved musician, Mandoza , real name Mduduzi Tshabalala, is continuing a fierce fight against cancer which first emerged as skin cancer and has now re-emerged as a brain tumour

South Africa’s beloved musician, Mandoza , real name Mduduzi Tshabalala, is continuing a fierce fight against cancer which first emerged as skin cancer and has now re-emerged as a brain tumour.

DRUM spoke to Mandoza back in May in an exclusive interview where he gave us a breakdown about when his health challenges began and keeping it a secret from his children and the media.

Mandoza told us that it started when he woke up with blood on his pillow and oozing out of his eye which was later followed by a series of seizures.

He knocked on doors of many doctors who told him that they could not figure out the problem and in the process depleted the funds of his medical aid.

After several seizures, Mandoza turned to public health care and when he had a seizure during a gig in Bloemfontein. He told us that he woke up at Tshepo Themba Private Hospital in Dobsonville. Doctors had to use an electric shock to bring him back to consciousness.

After leaving the hospital, life seemed to go back to normal but more symptoms developed: his eye continued to bleed every time he tilted his head downwards and he developed sinus problems and often had nose bleeds.

At some point he could not sleep at night because of the constant pain hi his right eye. He was taken to St John’s Eye Hospital in Soweto where a biopsy confirmed that he had cancer.

“In that week when I was in hospital the cancer had spread from between my nose and my right eye,” he said. He was transferred to the oncology unity at Johannesburg General Hospital and later treated with radiation sessions for seven weeks and three sessions of chemotherapy.

During this time he had lost a lot of weight and his wife Mpho said she held to shield off a lot of suspicious questions from people, while trying to hide his health problems.

“It was funny because when we walked together people would question whether it was him and some asked me if he was cheating,” she recalled.

Mpho who had suffered a stroke in 2010 had been using her story of recovery by giving motivational talks in collaboration with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Mandoza told DRUM that her inner strength instilled in him the desire to educate others about cancer.

“A big problem in our culture is that people believe that cancer is a white man’s disease and I want to change that,” he said.

Mandoza also revealed that in January, this year, he was working on a new album and that it would be launched later on in the year.

Today his family is pleading for the public to pray for him as he continues the battle for his health.

Mandoza fan's have shown him love by giving him well wishes on social medial

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