“When my grandchild told me, Patricia Majalisa is gone after he saw news on the television, I just took it as a joke, I mean death can’t claim the healthy and fit looking Majalisa I saw in December.”
These are well known shebeen king Bra Jomo, real name Albert Mnkandla’s sentiments, on the death of Township Disco music Queen Patricia Majalisa.
Majalisa died of liver failure at Helen Joseph’s Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday 9 July.
When local promoters 3D Events treated Splash music fans with a gig on 27 December last year, the late Majalisa was the headlining act, her stellar performance that night marked her last visit to Bulawayo, a place she adopted as her second home.
On her three-day visit to the City of Kings, Majalisa together with some of Splash musicians Oscar Tee and Slindile, toured a number of shebeens in Nketa, Makokoba and Mpopoma.
With a relationship spanning over 30 years with Bra Jomo, Majalisa settled for Jomo’s now defunct shebeen and little did she know she had come to say goodbye.
“Majalisa was here in December in my house, she had come to see me as she was always a regular when my shebeen was still operational. She came here with other Splash musicians like Slindile.
“She was excited to see me, and I recall I cried when I saw her by my gate. She reminded me of Dan Tshanda and the character they brought to this house whenever they were here together.”
Jomo stops for a while and a few tears roll down his cheeks.
He continues: “She seemed fit and strong on that day, we talked about a lot of heyday moments that we created here in my shebeen, little did we know she was here to say goodbye to me.”
“I am still in disbelief and shock concerning her death. She was such a bubbly character that always enjoyed every time she was with people. What I loved about her is that she drank my favourite beer which is Castle, may her soul rest in peace,” said Jomo.
Bra Jomo is privileged to be among a few local people to chew nostalgic bones based on personal relationships he created with many African great musicians who graced his now defunct shebeen from the early 80’s to 2012.
The iconic musicians he played host to include Majalisa, the Splash music Godfather Dan Tshanda, Oliver Mtukudzi, Hugh Masekela and Soul Brothers’ David Masondo and they have all passed away to the next world.
Telling the tales of dead men scares him to death.
Majalisa’s death makes him feel his grave is dug and ready near the footpaths he walks on.
“Every day I wake up and pray to thank God for giving me the opportunity of sharing life with many famous people like Majalisa, Dan, Tuku, Hugh and Masondo. These are among the people that changed my life in different ways.
“What pains me the most is that I am the only one remaining to tell the stories we had with these great people and it scares me to death, ngizwa engani ithuna lami liseceleni kwendlela (I am smelling my death is nearer),” said the soft spoken Jomo holding a photo album stuffed with pictures he took with different famous people.
Meanwhile, in December Majalisa had an interview with B-Metro where she was sceptical about the future of Splash music, as she was the only Splash surviving founding member. Could her death mark the demise of Splash music?
Patricia Majalisa was born on 15 February 1967 in East London, South Africa.
She started her solo career in 1986 and was initiated by the late Dan Tshanda to be part of the Afro-pop group Splash.
In her career, she managed to produce and release at least 15 albums including Cool Down, Impumelelo, Akulalwa and her last 2018 offering Ithemba Lami.