South Africa– Lesotho musician and songwriter Tsepo Tshola has died of COVID-19 complications after being admitted to the hospital last Thursday.
He was 68 years old at the time of his demise.
The legendary musician’s death was announced on social media as well as radio stations in his home country, where his colleagues expressed condolences.
Commonly known as “the village pope,” Tshola was born in Lesotho, though became a permanent resident of South Africa.
Tshola’s debut album “Anew Dawn” received great acclaim, which saw him win an award. He describes the album as a statement of humbleness.
He grew up in a musical family with both his parents once a member of Band Sankomota. The band originates from the ‘Mount Kingdom’ of Lesotho and was formed around 1976.
Originally, it was named “Uhuru”. It comprised of several members in its earliest years, namely – Frank Leepa (guitarist, vocalist, arranger, composer), Moss Nkofo (drummer), Black Jesus (percussion), Moruti Selate, Tsepo Tshola (lead vocalist, composer), Pitso Sera (guitar), among others.
Organizations and fellow artists have sent their tributes, describing his death as a big loss to the Music Industry.
Here are some Tributes:
My late dad and I loved Ntate Tshepo Tshola so much. This is so sad. Rest In Peace and thank you for the beautiful music Ntate.
— Terry Pheto (@TerryPheto) July 15, 2021
We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of the legendary singer #TshepoTshola (The Village Pope). We remember him for his classic gospel favourite ‘Ho Lokile’.
[pic: Facebook] pic.twitter.com/IJdjQz7eBQ
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) July 15, 2021
It breaks my heart to hear these news , Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow.
I’m praying that God gives us all the strength & comfort to get through this difficult time. The world has lost an incredible life .🕊❤️🙏
R.I.P Tshepo Tshola #TheVillagePope #TshepoTshola pic.twitter.com/5PrZohiKMy
— Dr. Rebecca Malope (@DrRebeccaMalope) July 15, 2021
Tshepo Tshola has been part of every celebration and loss in most of our homes. Ha hona mokete kapa lefu mo o sa utlwing Ntate Tshepo Tshola teng. It's like his voice held space for black joy and black pain. It feels like someone just shot a missile through our artistic DNA.
— Dineo Langa (@therealdineo) July 15, 2021
"Let me say something right here
Look deep in your heart
For you are a master
Of generations to come
So you can be remembered
And never wonder
When your name is not called
From the register of the masters
Yes you are a master"🕊#TshepoTshola pic.twitter.com/HZIOyIJZye
— CAFCL Finalists✌🏽 (@Thato_Letsholo1) July 15, 2021