Mpho speaking on her husband Mandoza 'I have to be strong for my husband'

By Drum Digital
15 September 2016

With the return of his cancer, kwaito star Mandoza has lost his sight but he’s fighting and full of purpose with his wife Mpho by his side

Her eyes are bloodshot and she looks up at the ceiling every so often to keep the tears from rolling down her cheeks.

“I have to be strong for my kids,” Mpho Tshabalala says. “Things are serious.” The 36-year-old mom of three pours her heart out for the first time since her husband, Mandoza – one of South Africa’s best-loved musicians – heard his cancer was back.

And this time, it has tragically robbed him of his sight. Just four months ago, Mandoza (38) told DRUM how he’d beaten squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer that attacked his mouth, eyes and nasal passages

(Mandoza’s fiercest fight, 5 May).

Upbeat and relieved, he wanted to share his journey and educate people that “cancer isn’t just a white person’s disease”.

But today the Nkalakatha hitmaker is too ill to meet us. He’s at the family home in Pimville, Soweto, and Mpho (36) has met us at the nearby Soweto Hotel and Conference Centre in Kliptown.

The day he was declared cancer free was the live blog happiest day of their lives, she says, and they couldn’t stop thanking their “miracle-working God”. The last thing they expected was to go down the same road.

But at the beginning of August Mandoza – whose real name is Mduduzi Tshabalala – started having headaches every day. “It’s worrying when someone takes painkillers three times a day,” Mpho says. Still, they didn’t think

much of it and Mandoza carried on performing as usual.

“Then he said, ‘I’m having problems with my eyes’.” He was suffering from blurred vision and consulted an optometrist who couldn’t find anything wrong and suggested he go for an MRI scan.

The kwaito star then made an appointment with his oncologist at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital for various tests. And then he made the call Mpho will never forget.

Read more in 22 September issue of DRUM

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