WINDHOEK-Remembering the legacy of the late South African musician, Dan Tshanda, who passed away on January 5 to heart failure, Okakarara residents are having a Farwell Bash for the late Disco music legend, at Tate Sammy’s Beer House No. 2 today.
With the contribution of 100 Namibian dollars from the community members who loved the artist’s music, the event sees top local Dj’s playing Dan Tshanda’s music all day long, with an evening full of Patsulla music performances from different local artists. Samuel Petrus also known as Tate Sammy, owner of the popular joint in Okakarara hosting the tribute, promises an unforgettable night. Dan gained Okakarara community’s popularity after he performed for the last time in Namibia at the Okakarara Trade Fair last year.
Meanwhile, some of his Namibian fans have already left for South Africa for his funeral today. The idea of locals attending his funeral emanated from a memorial service last Friday in the Khomasdal Community Hall.
Dan was a South African gospel musician who found Africa-wide and international fame with the band Splash in the 1980s and later on as a solo artist. Born in Chiawelo, Soweto, Dan had to leave school at a young age. When he was old enough to drive, he found work as a taxi driver. He also started his own group, Flying Squad, which released the album ‘Mr Tony’ on Gallo Records in 1985. Ray Phiri of Stimela was impressed with the band and wanted them as a support act, suggesting they change their name to Splash. They soon hit the big time and released classic albums such as ‘Peacock’ (1986), ‘Snake’ (1987), ‘Money’ (1988) and ‘Tshokotshoko’ (1989).
‘The Hit Machine’ didn’t stop, continuing to release Splash albums annually for much of the 1990s, including ‘Eye For An Eye’ (1990), ‘Why’ (1994), ‘Cellular’ (1995), and ‘Double Face’ (1997). In the late ‘90s Dan Tshanda left Gallo and released ‘Crocodile’ (1998) with Bula Records before launching his own label, Dalom Music.
Also in the Dalom stable were Splash spin-off projects Matshikos, Dalom Kids, Peacock and Tshanda’s former partner Patricia Majalisa, among others. He continued to shurn out big-selling albums like ‘Ndivhuwo’ (2001) and ‘Sethopha’ (2003). In 2009 he released a double album for the first time – the first disc titled ‘Tolovela’ by Splash and the second half comprising Tshanda’s gospel-flavoured ‘Time to Shine’. In 2014 he returned with a new Splash album titled ‘Delele’.
Dan was one of the few ‘bubblegum pop’ artists to become a highly successful businessman, both with his label and other ventures. He was a popular drawcard both in South Africa and in neighbouring countries like Botswana and Zimbabwe. Almost all the albums he produced went gold or platinum, selling more than a million records in total. He also found international success in countries like Canada and the UK.