'We were with him on Sunday' - Tokollo Tshabalala's family open up about the Kwaito star's last days

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Tokollo Tshabalala.
Tokollo Tshabalala.
Photo: Mohau Mofokeng/Gallo Images.
  • Tokollo 'Magesh' Tshabalala's family says the kwaito legend "just" could not get through the seizure that claimed his life earlier this week.
  • His family says he developed epileptic seizures from a severe brain injury he sustained during a car accident in 2001.
  • Details about Tshabalala's memorial and funeral services are yet to be communicated.  

The family of fallen Kwaito legend and TKZee group member Tokollo 'Magesh' Tshabalala (45) said while the musician knew how to manage his epileptic seizures, he just could not get through the one which claimed his life earlier this week.

"The seizures were being managed, but then, in the last couple of months, they were occurring more often," said Tshabalala's sister, Kutloano.

"We were continuing to manage them, as we have been managing them, and he knew how to manage them, but, this time around, he just couldn't get through the seizure, and God called him home."

Kutloano added her older brother, who was "fine" in the days leading up to his sudden death, developed epileptic seizures from a severe brain injury he sustained during his 2001 car accident.

Tshabalala, the son of Orlando Pirates Football Club director Stanley' Screamer' Tshabalala, died on Monday morning.

"My family is going through a wide range of emotions, ranging the whole spectrum from shock to frustration because it's so random," she said. "On a random, random Monday - and we were with him on Sunday - the first call we get on a Monday is that he died."

It was like, what a start to a blue Monday; Mondays do suck. It's been surreal for my siblings and parents, and we keep asking ourselves, did it really happen; are we really planning to say goodbye to this guy?

Kutloano described her brother as the "jokester and mischievous menace" of the family who was "always playing tricks on people."

"Growing up, and even in our old age, when he came home, and there was leftover food, he would eat the leftover food and leave the skaftin (lunchbox) like the wolf was here," she said jokingly. "He was also the type of person you would talk to if you had problems. He was always willing to help, tease you first, then help you and make a joke out of it."

"I think most people think he was extroverted, but he wasn't. He was an introvert-extrovert, and he was a fun brother and great uncle."

Kutloano said she will miss her brother's jokes, his smile, and him always being available, "no matter what he was doing, he would make time."

In an interview with News24, TKZee business manager Refiloe Ramogase said he would, among other things, miss Tshabalala's "effortless charm" and described the musician as a "beautiful and gentle soul".

Details about the memorial and funeral services are yet to be communicated.  

Tshabalala, Kabelo Mabalane and Zwai Bala rose to fame in the 1990s after forming the iconic TKZee. The group released its first album, Halloween, in 1998. Some of their hit songs include Phalafala, Dlala Mapantsula, Mambotjie; We Love This Place, and Shibobo, featuring Bennie McCarthy.

At the 5th annual South African Music Awards 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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