JOHANNESBURG – Legendary musician Tsepo Tshola has died.
Affectionally known as The Village Pope, Tshola succumbed to COVID-19 at the age of 68.
His songs include his 1994 classic, “Ho Lokile” and the song “Madambadamba” with Sankomota.
Stanley Letsela, director of Letsela Entertainment, confirmed that the musician died on Thursday after being admitted to the hospital last Friday.
“It is sorrowful to confirm the passing on of Ntate Tsepo Tshola. He was burying his sister last week Thursday, and he was admitted to the hospital on Friday. We woke up this morning to the sad news that he has passed on,” said Stanley.
Born in Lesotho, Tsepo grew up in a musical family with both his parents involved in choirs. “Mom and dad were singers with Lesotho Vertical 8. That was their group before they formed the choir. They were both in the ministry – dad a preacher and mom a prayer woman,” he previously told DRUM in 2014.
With a professional career spanning more than 40 years, Tsepo first joined the boy band The Lesotho Blue Diamonds as a vocalist in 1970. He went on to tour with the band Sankomota and relocated to London in the 1980s.
The group released nine albums before it was disbanded. Tsepo went on to pursue a successful solo career, releasing a number of celebrated albums.
The award-winning musician entertained audiences across South Africa, Lesotho and Europe for more than 40 years, with hits like Holokile.