Disco king Penny Penny issues threats at funeral of fellow artist

Malamulele - The funeral of a Xitsonga artist turned into a screaming match when Shangaan disco king Penny Penny publicly threatened to assault his fellow artists.

Speaking during the funeral of Sam Sikiza Chauke, 59, in Mashobye village outside Malamulele over the weekend, Penny Penny, originally Eric Nkovani, said some artists were using Xitsonga music to hurl insults at him and others.

"I'm going to beat the hell out of those artists who swear at me and insult me. I'm very old and can't allow a young boy to come and call me by names," said Penny Penny.

Amongst the musicians attending the funeral was Benny Mayengani, who is a popular supporter of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). Since joining the EFF a few years ago, Mayengani has used his music to sing against President Jacob Zuma and the ANC.

Penny Penny is a well-known ANC supporter, having served as a ward councillor in Giyani.

In 2013, he gained more popularity as a politician after a long awaited tar road between Siyandhani and Nkuri villages got a nod from the provincial government and the Giyani local municipality.

"I have been making music since the 1980s and have never insulted or used vulgar language in my songs. My music has also been played overseas...

"Supporters, you must stop buying music of people who insult and uses vulgar language because it tarnishes our image as VaTsonga Machangani musicians. Parents you should not allow their children to play songs that have vulgar lyrics or insult other people," said the fuming Penny Penny.

Rose Chavalala, programmes committee member at Xitsonga radio station Munghana Lonene FM, said the public broadcast didn't allow them to play vulgar songs.

"As the national broadcast we won't play songs that insult other people or has vulgar language and have vulgar lyrics because as the radio station our objective is to promote the culture and music of Xitsonga people," said Chavalala.

Mayengani declined to comment on Penny Penny's outbursts, stating that he was at the funeral to pay his last respect to his role model.

"I'm not here to entertain such people who are against me, but I'm here to pay homage to the man who taught me music. I looked up to him (Chauke) as role model," he said.

Chauke died at the Malamulele Hospital on January 8 2016, after suffering from a long illness.

He started playing music in the 1990s, scooping a South African Music Award in 1996. He died with nine albums to his name.

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