'He was such a beautiful, gentle soul' - A tribute to TKZee's Tokollo 'Magesh' Tshabalala

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Tokollo 'Magesh' Tshabalala
Tokollo 'Magesh' Tshabalala
Gallo Images/Mohau Mafokeng
  • Tokollo 'Magesh' Tshabalala has been described as a charming man who will be missed dearly.
  • TKZee's business manager, Refiloe Ramogase, says everyone is "processing" his sudden death.
  • Tshabalala died from an epileptic seizure on Monday.

Refiloe Ramogase, business manager of the legendary Kwaito group TKZee, said he will miss the "effortless charm" of founding member Tokollo 'Magesh' Tshabalala, who died on Monday.

A press release by the family said Tshabalala died from an epileptic seizure. He was 45 years old. 

"I'm going to miss his effortless charm," Ramogase told News24. "He was one of those people, doesn't matter who or from what walk of life [you are], if you spend five minutes with Magesh – I've watched it over and over again – he's just able to charm people and make them love him."

He added:

He was a very lovable human being, so I'm going to miss that about him. I'm going to miss how he cares about people.

Ramogase said that while the family and everyone close to Tshabalala was dealing with his sudden death differently, they were all "processing" it.

"Everybody has a different way in which they grieve – some of us get busy, some people get deep into their feelings – but it's safe to say everybody is feeling the magnitude of this loss and dealing with it in their own way."

Ramogase added that it was unfortunate that their most recent meeting, which was supposed to have happened two weeks ago, was postponed due to "personal issues and a number of things" on his side which included the death of his uncle.

"I work quite closely with the group, so we would talk, whether it was WhatsApp or telephone calls, quite frequently."

His fondest memories with Tshabalala include the times they would be on the road when Tshabalala would disarm him with the nickname that only he was allowed to call Ramogase, and their trip to Durban last year, where they sat for hours, the morning after a performance, and reminisced.

SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA â?? JUNE 16: Popular Kwaito g
Popular Kwaito group TKZee performing at nightclub Zone6 in Soweto for Youth Day celebrations on June 16, 2017 in Soweto.

"The Tokollo I know is such a beautiful human being, a gentle soul, caring, loves the people he loves and jealously guards and protects the people he loves. The Magesh, I know, is funny and is also a very good listener – he would always be the one to talk last. He was able to offer really interesting nuggets of information."

Ramogase added that while the public might have known a different Tshabalala, the one he knew was "quite shy". "When he's not on stage, the last thing he wanted to do is be around a bunch of people. He wanted to be around the people he feels safe and comfortable around."

The group intends to keep Tshabalala's memory alive through the "projects that are already on the go", which included a documentary, reworking TKZee's old catalogs, and even talks of a limited series.

"There are still a number of projects we are going to do to keep his memory alive."

Tshabalala and his two friends Kabelo Mabalane and Zwai Bala rose to fame in the 1990s, after forming TKZee. In 1998 they released their first album Halloween. Their hit songs include: Phalafala, Dlala Mapansula, Mambotjie, We Love This Place and Shibobo featuring Bennie McCarthy.

TKZee during the 25th annual South African Music A
TKZee during the 25th annual South African Music Awards (SAMA 25) at Sun City on June 01, 2019.

At the 5th annual South African Music Awards (Samas) in 1999, the group took home Best Kwaito Album, Best Kwaito Single, Best Single, and Best Duo/Group. In 2019, TKZee received the Lifetime Achievement Award at SAMA25.


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