Friends and family of deceased Idols SA runner up Thami Shobede bid farewell to him at a memorial held for him on Wednesday afternoon in Johannesburg.
Although the memorial was a beautiful one, attended by all those who loved the 31-year-old star, it was also where the dark times Thami went through during the last years of his life, came to light.
Thami died at Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria last week after he was admitted following a short illness.
Read more: 'Idols SA' season 12 runner-up dies
His best friend Themba Humana revealed how Thami constantly struggled to make ends meet as an artist and had to be the breadwinner at home for his mother and little sister.
Themba explained that the last time he spoke to Thami was last week Monday, when he went to visit him in hospital. He also shared that Thami expressed that he has seen the flowers brought for him by those who love him and that he is grateful.
“When we went again to see him on Tuesday, we saw the changes, we saw that he was very weak,” he said.
“Truth be told, when people asked me what happened to Thami, I did not answer. We need to speak; we need to talk about it. He was a breadwinner, taking care of his sister and his mother,” he said during his tribute.
“We called Gallo to say he is in hospital, but they never responded to us. Gallo was not there for a Thami. He had a contract with Gallo. He wanted to get out of the contract. All his gigs came from his friends and Gallo still demanded a percentage,” he claimed.
He further claimed that Thami never received royalties from his music.
“Thami never got anything from his royalties. His mom and sisters need a home. We requested a meeting with them. The career that was supposed to give Thami money is the same that took his life.”
Although allegations against the record label were made, Gallo Representative, Carol Morabe still took to the stage and made a tribute to the deceased star.
“Now that Thami is gone radio stations want to play his music when they could not play it when he was alive. We will remember Thami for his infectious smile,” she said.
Fans of Thami also took to their social media accounts to express their sadness that the artist did not get the stardom he deserved following his time on Idols SA.