JOHANNESBURG – Award-winning Jazz musician Tsepo Tshola has passed on.
Sunday World confirmed legendary singer and producer Tshola, popularly known as ‘The village pope’, departed this earth on Thursday morning after complaining about chest pains.
Tshola’s family members said he succumbed to a Covid-19-related illness at Tiyatiyaneng Hospital in Lesotho. He would have turned 68 in a month’s time.
Further details about his death remain unclear at this stage.
Tshola came into prominence when a group he co-founded and co-led with the late Frank Leepa, ‘Sankomota’, went to South Africa in the early 80s from Lesotho and broke all kinds of records, becoming the first southern African group to visit South Africa and receive the same reception like overseas superstars.
Tsola and Leepa subsequently moved to South Africa, where Tshola had a highly successful music career, selling a number of platinum records.
Among his most successful songs were ‘Papa’, dedicated to his father, and ‘Ho Lokile’, dedicated to his late wife Monis Tshola.
His debut album, ‘A New Dawn’, received great critical acclaim and showcases the album as a statement of humbleness.
Born in Lesotho, Tshepo grew up in a musical family, with his parents involved in choirs.
Tshola has been in the industry for more than 40 years since he joined the teen boy band ‘The Lesotho Blue Diamonds’, as a vocalist in 1970.
He then went on to join ‘The Anti-Antics’ and later ‘Uhuru’.
Tributes poured in for the icon on social media:
This is one of the most devastating days of my life,
music icon #TsepoTshola has died this morning after testing positive for #Covid-19
— Nthakoana “Queen Mosia” Ngatane (@nthakoana)
RIP Ntate Tsepo Tshola. We will never forget Ho Lokile
— Trev (@Tokyo_Trev)
Covid-19 just took our jazz legend, bra Tsepo Tshola. Ho Lokile #RipTsepoTshola #TsepoTshola
Rest well Village Pope #TsepoTshola
— Tee Dlamini (@Thimmy1)
Legendary songwriter and musician Tsepo Tshola has died
— #MusicInJozi (@Musicinjozi)
My late dad loved Tsepo Tshola so much
— Trev (@Tokyo_Trev)
— Dr Lehlohonolo Mokhahlane (@sehaimokhahlane)
— sadie (@tsholux)
Yoh Tsepo Tshola?
Tsepo Tshola’s music
- Sunday World