Majalisa: A goddess unrecognised in her own country


South African musician, Patricia Majalisa. Photo, Facebook

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE biblical maxim that a prophet, in this case, a prophetess, is not without honour but in their own country, rings true for Patricia Majalisa, the music icon who recently passed away.

Born in South Africa, she was rarely appreciated in her home country but enjoyed goddess status in neighbouring nations during a career that spanned over 30 years.

Such was the lack of recognition in her homeland that her death occurred unnoticed in the local media.

The gloom and doom that envelopes South Africa each time other music icons pass on was invisible when Majalisa died of liver failure, a result of a short illness, in a Johannesburg hospital.

Even local media publications were conspicuous with their absence as far as coverage is concerned.

Comparatively, media in Botswana and Zimbabwe, with their immense coverage around the death, mirrored the sombre mood that swept through these neighbouring countries when rumours swirled around the demise of the pop music veteran.

Tears flew among her most ardent followers when the reports were confirmed.

In South Africa, only areas populated by foreign nationals, such as Berea, Braamfontein, Bramley, Hillbrow and Yeoville were in teary mood.

Majalisa’s music could be heard playing in cars and some households in celebration of the indelible mark she left among fans in the dog-eat-dog industry, especially in areas distant from South Africa.

Zimbabwean journalist, Nqaba Matshazi, said, “This name (Patricia Majalisa) will probably not ring a bell with many people in South Africa, her country of birth, but in Botswana and Zimbabwe she was considered a goddess.”

A fan, identifying herself as Loyiswa, concurred, “Sad day for Zimbabwe arts fraternity, Bulawayo in particular.”

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe’s second-largest city where Majalisa and other members of the stable known as Dalom Music, enjoyed cult status.

Majalisa’s ex-partner, Daniel “The Hit Machine” Tshanda, founded the stable that rocked Zimbabwe’s music scene in the late 1980s until his death last year.

As with Majalisa’s demise, his death too went unnoticed in South Africa but thrust neighbouring countries into mourning.

Other stable members that suffered the similar fate of being recognised in neighbouring countries but struggle to get recognition from among their patriots include Don B, Penwell Kunene, Thabile Mazolwane, Petronella Rampou and Joseph Tshimange.

Emma Ngcobo, a South African, bemoaned the trend of local musicians being snubbed by their compatriots and appreciated elsewhere.

“So Zimbabwe is celebrating the life of Patricia Majalisa but in SA, nothing is mentioned,” Ngcobo asked rhetorically.

Born on February 15, 1967 in East London, Majalisa was the last pillar standing in the famous Dalom stable.

She had 17 albums, some that went platinum, including the standout Dzhengezhe, Poverty and Success.

– CAJ News

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