BY NKULULEKO SIBANDA
ZIMBABWEAN-born music legend and anti-apartheid activist, Dorothy Masuku was yesterday laid to rest at the West Park cemetery in Johannesburg South Africa.
Masuka died on February 23, 2019, aged 83.
South Africans from all walks of life paid their last respects to the jazz muso, with many describing her as a loving soul and a woman who stood for what she believed in.
Among those that attended Masuku’s final parade before burial at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus was former South African President Thabo Mbeki, the country’s Arts minister Nathi Mthethwa, and some renowned artists from neighbouring countries.
The Zimbabwean delegation was led by National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director Nicholas Moyo. Bulawayo-based poet and musician, Albert Nyathi was also in attendance.
Speaking at the funeral parade, Moyo said people across the borders of Zimbabwe and South Africa should work hard to ensure that Masuku’s legacy lives on.
“Dorothy was a woman who defied age. She was very passionate about what she did in her music career.
“The work that we have now amongst us is to ensure that Mama Dorothy Masuku’s legacy that she has left us continues to live into the future. We need to see and work out how we will make that legacy live on,” said Moyo.
He described the late Masuku as a “sweet and beautiful lady” who participated and eventually won a beauty pageant, Miss Mzilikazi, in 1953.
“When you participate and win such contests, it speaks to the confidence and passion that you have on issues.
“Mama Dorothy knew what she fought for and she knew how it is to fight for what is right and rightfully yours,” Moyo added.
Speaking at the same parade, Mthethwa described Masuku as one of the finest daughters the African continent had ever produced.
“We’ve gathered here today to celebrate the life and times of one of the finest daughters of our land and African continent who used her creativity to tell the African and South African tale from the perspective of the downtrodden and the wretched of the earth,” he said.
Mthethwa added: “As we come to terms with the fact that a great artist has left our midst, a musician beyond compare, we recall the sheer brilliance and the brizzy brightness of Ma’am Dorothy Masuku.
“We shed tears for Dorothy Masuku, but the tears are that of love and joy we derive from her craft and the respect for humanity.”
Speaking at the same event, a “sister-in-music”, jazz muso, Abigail Kubheka said: “I’ll miss her very much. I used to call her the voice of Africa. She had a unique voice, a voice that would pierce your heart; it was soulful. She sang with passion and you would hear the message in her music.”