Annaska Combo Mahlaole affectionately known as Khombo Shirimani laid to rest…

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Self-proclaimed President of Xitsonga Music, Benny Mayengani led from the front when carrying the cottage to its last resting place. Image/ Angie Nkuna. 

By Owen Mafukele

Johannesburg- Losing a loved one has never been an easy thing to deal with, but the burden could sometimes be lessened and made bearable by the emotional,  and spiritual support we receive from the general populace.

Apparently, since the untimely death of the SATMA award recipient Khombo Shirimani was communicated to the nation, heartfelt gratitude and sincere condolences messages conveyed through different media platforms to Shirimani family, kept the family ensconced under the dark cloud that had befallen and besieged the entire Xitsonga music fraternity.

Xitsonga music lovers, particularly  throngs of Khombo Shirimani’s ardent fanatics who in social circles proudly call themselves ‘Team Shirimani’ supporters were hard hit and unwittingly dealt a measure blow with the loss of a well gifted singer, whom with quite ease brought life to the entire Xitsonga traditional music fraternity with her angelic voice.

On Saturday December the 22nd, Vatsonga from different walks of life and many other language speakers, young and old, descended to Eersterus, in the outskirts of Pretoria to be part of those who came to show their last respect and bid farewell to the Queen of Xitsonga Music.

Amongst many others who were part of chief mourners was non-other than the self-proclaimed president of Xitsonga music, Benny Mayengani who led from the front when carrying the cottage to its last resting place.

Benny’s presence has finally laid to rest doubts that still lingered around and boost for unity and cohesion amongst Xitsonga artists, and it indeed show that hatchet has long been buried between the two Xitsonga music heavyweights stable, BMQ and Team Shirimani orthodox.

Although, controversial as it may be, eyebrows were raised with some questioning the rationale behind president Benny Mayengani’s attire on the day. This lowly newspaper man is no fashion expect, and I will reserve my comment hitherto.

Mayengani was spotted clad with what looked like a Muslim head gear, albeit with the colours resembling vests that have been made famous by the colloquial Zulu monarch since time immemorial…

However, times do change and it comes along with new innovations to help supplement what some call acceptable standards of doing things.

The funeral presented a perfect last conspicuous opportunity to manifestly show that the “beef” from some sections of Xitsonga music artists, particularly their legions of fans is dead and buried, no pun intended.

Khombo would be dearly missed, and through her music, she will forever live.

A true champion of Vatsonga through her usage of acceptable norms and standards of Xitsonga, that perpetually catapult traditional music and language, ingratiate it into the hearts of many.

Rest in perfect revolutionary everlasting peace Khombo.

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