Remembering fallen TKZee star Magesh

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Tokollo ‘Magesh’ Tshabalala at the 2019 SA Music Awards at Sun City in the North West. Photo: Paballo Lekalakala/Gallo Images
Tokollo ‘Magesh’ Tshabalala at the 2019 SA Music Awards at Sun City in the North West. Photo: Paballo Lekalakala/Gallo Images


The sudden passing of TKZee band member Tokollo “Magesh” Tshabalala leaves a void in a once-glorious kwaito movement now threatened with extinction, leaving many loyalists of the genre wondering who will carry its baton forward.

Magesh lost his life due to an epileptic seizure, and his body was discovered by a family member on Monday morning.

He was the son of former Kaizer Chiefs player and Bafana Bafana coach Stanley “Screamer’ Tshabalala, who is currently the director of Orlando Pirates.

A quick scan of his life reveals that:


TKZee members Zwai Bala, Kabelo Mabalane and Tokollo Tshabalala at a Metro FM birthday party in 2009. Photo: Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images

Magesh shot to instant fame during the 1990s alongside band members Kabelo Mabalane and Zwai Bala after releasing hit songs including Shibobo and Phalafala.

In an interview with podcaster MacG, Mabalane credited Magesh with the writing/composition of the group’s hit singles.


In 2019, TKZee were the recipients of a lifetime achievement award at the SA Music Awards for their unprecedented contribution to the local music scene.

The group had been marginally performing at events over the past three years.


In the 2000s, Magesh ventured out on his own and released a number of critically acclaimed albums, including Mas Que Musica (2005) and Longest Time (2007).


The 45-year-old was the co-owner of Heist Entertainment, a record label inclusive of artists, songwriters, producers and engineer managers; with entertainment services including music publishing, touring and merchandising.

The label produced the music video of his single Good to Love in 2018.


Magesh’s first public run-in with law enforcement happened in 2001, when he was involved in a car accident in Botswana that left businesswoman Maria Monyatsi dead. He was acquitted of reckless and negligent driving, and culpable homicide in 2007.

The musician once again found himself in hot water when he allegedly fled from a petrol station without paying for filling his tank in 2010. The garage owners subsequently withdrew the charges.

In 2014, he was arrested after allegedly assaulting fellow band member Bala with a sharp object on the face following an argument. He appeared at the Randburg Magistrates’ Court, but the matter was ultimately settled out of court.

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