Letta Mbulu's home to become a heritage site

Jazz maestro
Jazz maestro

The legendary jazz singer, Letta Mbulu’s childhood home will soon be Johannesburg’s heritage site. The Soweto residence located in Orlando East will be honoured on 24 September. The veteran singer will also be turning 75-years-old on the day.

The honour will be part of the 2018 Legacy Events. A Heritage Researcher, Tshenolo Mokhele shares that the pioneer’s home will be credited as a Mother of all Townships for her contributions in the struggle. Upon receiving the news, Mama Letta was overwhelmed with emotions as she took down memory lane.

“It's difficult to express myself because I’m not the only one who was involved in the struggle with the music I was doing. But I do feel honoured and humbled, I did not expect it,” she says.

The residence where Letta used to stay with her mother, brothers and aunt holds a lot of sad and happy memories. Letta remembers how the police would kick the door open in the early hours of the morning looking for her brothers. She also recalls an incident where one of his brothers was arrested and shot dead.

“When we tried to get his body, the authorities refused to release it, my mother had to get a lawyer. But there are also great memories I cherish. It was a musical family, both my mother and aunt were into music and that kept us going,” she shares.