Paradise Road singer dies

2002-08-15 21:52

Cape Town - Anneline Malebo (48), singer of the once popular pop-group Joy, died on Wednesday evening of an Aids-related illness.

In sharp contrast to her domestic circumstances, Malebo had been living in a Durbanville retirement village for the last month.

Malebo was tracked down living in squalor and dying of Aids in a modest Guguletu house. She was infected with HIV about two years ago after being raped at a party in Johannesburg.

Fanie Jason, freelance photographer and friend of the deceased, said Malebo had fallen into a coma on Wednesday morning. She was admitted to Somerset Hospital, where she died about 20:00 that evening.

Her two sons, Clive (34) and Linden (21), and her eldest brother Tommy, were present at her deathbed.

After her circumstances came to light, money was raised with a goodwill concert at On Broadway in Greenpoint, where several musicians including Mynie Grové, Robbie Jansen and Arno Carstens performed. A concert was also held in Manenberg.

"She was very grateful for the assistance," Jason said.

Malebo initially used the money for food and other necessities. She was worried about the future of her four children, and for this reason did not want to spend money on expensive anti-Aids medicine, which might not have helped her any more at that stage. She had only started using these about three weeks ago.

Joy was the first black group to achieve the no 1 spot on Springbok Radio's hit parade, and also the first black group to receive a Sarie award. The other members were Felicia Marion and Thoko Ndlovu.

They had music lovers on their feet with the hit Paradise Road.

Patric van Blerk, who wrote the song with Fransua Roos in 1979, described Malebo's demise as "very, very sad", but added that he was just happy South Africans had rallied around her before her death and not after it.

"She did not want to go silently. She had spoken out openly about HIV/Aids as well as rape before her death. And I think that all the media coverage has made a difference.

"But the most important thing is that she will be remembered forever as the lead vocalist on Paradise Road, in which she sang: "There are better days before us..."

Malebo is also survived by two daughters, Annasuente (12) and a six-year-old daughter who lives with her father in the Eastern Cape.