‘I could feel Thabo’s spirit’ – last-surviving member of Alaska performs alone for the first time

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Siphiwe 'Picat' Sibeko performed alone for the first time after 9-years of performing with the late Thabo 'Crazy' T Tsotetsi.
Siphiwe 'Picat' Sibeko performed alone for the first time after 9-years of performing with the late Thabo 'Crazy' T Tsotetsi.

He's the last man standing. When they started the Kwaito group Alaska, they had five members. By 2022, they were down to two. 

Now, he's alone and it's still hard to believe. 

Siphiwe ‘Picat’ Sibeko is still grieving after the death of Thabo ‘Crazy T’ Tsotetsi. But he had to get up on the stage at the Back to the City concert and stand for all his fallen group members.

"I felt something on my shoulders and the stage was so lonely at some point," the Alaska member says. 

The group was booked to perform at the Hennessy Back to the City months before one of the two members died in September after he was admitted to hospital with flu symptoms.

Siphiwe knew that he would have to perform as Alaska to keep the legacy of the late members alive but he never thought that it would be this soon.

He says he wasn’t ready to be on stage or perform as Alaska, but the contract was signed months ago.

“I don’t know how I managed to pull it through that night. It was heavy for me because every performance we always had a routine on how to kill it. This time around it was only me, and I wasn’t ready, but I knew that my brothers would want me to go through with the performance and deliver."

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When Siphiwe last spoke to Drum, it was after the announcement of Crazy T's passing.

Siphiwe said he'd continue with the movement because his group member left him with music, and he would be the vessel to spread that music. With the help of his DJ, and the dancers, he managed to do just that at the Back to the City concert.

He performed with a group of Pantsula dancers to distract him from overthinking and to remind him that he will be doing all the verses from the songs because he is alone.

Having DJ Tito back him up and the crowd cheering helped him get through that performance.

"When I was waiting backstage I could feel Thabo's spirit. He was there with me and it is weird because when he was alive, and every time we were about to perform, we would both feel the late Les MaAda’s spirit with us," he tells Drum.

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“I am thankful that I am a Christian because I always pray when I am faced with life’s challenges. That is why I brought in the dancers, because I wanted to have people to pray with like I used to with my brother for the past nine years when we were the only ones left.

"I asked for a moment of silence because while singing and dancing it felt like Thabo was also there, and I wanted to allow him to also sing some of the verses as per our rehearsal. And when DJ Tito hyped me up doing the performance and the crowd cheering, I was happy and I know that Thabo was also happy.”

He says performing for a hip-hop crowd and still receiving so much love was amazing, but he will now wait a bit on performing because it is not easy to grieve and perform and the same time.

"It was hard especially when I danced to Thabo’s signature move, it dawned on me that I am alone, and I have to keep the music alive but I also need some time."

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