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Nkalakatha Fame: Darkest Hour for Mandoza

Mduduzi 'Mandoza' Tshabalala's health problems have led his family to issue an impassioned plea for prayers. The 38-year-old k...

Mduduzi 'Mandoza' Tshabalala's health problems have led his family to issue an impassioned plea for prayers.

The 38-year-old kwaito star, of Nkalakatha fame, is in hospital fighting for his life as he battles cancer.

Gabi Le Roux, his long-time collaborator responsible for many of his hits, said yesterday the family had asked him to go public about Tshabalala's ill-health.

"He had cancer treatment last year for some growth in his sinus channel. He got radiation and chemotherapy for that at the time, he then went into remission and was showing very great signs (of recovery).
Mandoza Back in Hospital 

"But recently, he got some severe headaches and when he went to the doctors they tested and realised that the cancer had returned, and was now manifesting as a brain tumour.

"He had malignant growths in his sinus channel. It did not affect his brain at that stage and it got close. We were very happy that they managed to stop it from reaching the brain, and now it's back and it has reached his brain.

"He is not doing well at all and we are asking everyone for their prayers and support so his ancestors can give him strength again this time. We can only hope for his recovery, we can never give up on him."

In a short statement, Tshabalala's wife Mpho said they would host a press conference soon. "We will be updating everyone on how he's doing ... for now we just wanted to inform the public."

Le Roux first posted a statement on Facebook in which he asked for prayers, but also cautioned: "Please also be respectful and discreet in how you react to this announcement." In July 2015 Sowetan reported that Tshabalala was in hospital for a "minor" operation as artists rallied around him.

He was admitted to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto for at least a week. He told Sowetan at the time: "I came in last Friday because of my eye. I had a problem with my sinuses, but it's nothing to worry about ...

"My sinuses have been giving me problems for some time. My eye had been giving me problems because of the sinuses, and as a result it was getting blurry. The doctors cleaned my sinuses and my eye," he said.

Tshabalala also mentioned that some of his friends, like kwaito singer General, the other surviving member of his band Chiskop, came to visit him "but did not tell many people because there was no need to make people panic".

"It's not a big deal. It's a random checkup I do every year. We are getting old, my man," he said. Arthur Mafokate, who discovered Tshabalala in 1994 as a dancer, said he was surprised by the turn of events.

He last saw him earlier this year and said he looked fine. "We wish him a speedy recovery, we're getting to the festive period, people are waiting for a hit from him. May the Lord be with him to heal quicker," said Mafokate.

His former manager Vaughn Eaton also sent his good wishes. "The last I saw him he was recovering well. I send him my good wishes and hope he gets well soon. He has a strong will and I hope everything goes well for him."

The gravel-voiced Mandoza became a household name when he released his debut solo album 9II5 Zola South with Uzoyithola Kanjani, followed by a string of hits, but none bigger than the cross-over Nkalakatha. Other hits include Tornado, Godoba, Phunyuka Bamphethe and Hope. - Sowetan 

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