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News - Date: 11 March 2019
Written by: Elmon Tshikhudo / Viewed: 622
The founders of the Khathisa Chavalala Cultural Heritage Foundation received a pat on the back and a thumbs-up from Vhembe District Executive Mayor Mavhungu Lerule Ramakhanya.
She said they were doing well to continue Chavalala’s legacy because she was like the women of 1955 who protested the “dompas”.
Lerule was addressing hundreds of people at the PP Hlungwani High School sports grounds in Green Farms during the launch of the foundation. The foundation aims to continue the legacy of the legendary woman who was born in 1942 and died in 2009. Chavalala was the first woman among the Vatsonga Machangana to record a song. She was also a legend who won many awards and recorded with big companies such as Gallo and Wea Records.
Among the awards that she received is the Living Legend Award from Munghana Lonene FM as well as the Mapungubwe award.
She was also a philanthropist who took many destitute children under her wing and sent them to school.
Accompanied by Collins Chabane Mayor Moses Maluleke, the executive mayor said she had not been aware of the late musician. “But judging from what I have researched, I have no doubt that she was a strong character like the women of 1955,” said Ramakhanya.
She said since the foundation also aimed to assist destitute children, the district municipality was ready to enter into partnership with the foundation in that regard, before joining musician Vuyelwa, the widow of late Shangaan Disco King Peta Teanet.
Author Ernest Khosa, who represented Rixaka, a forum of Xitsonga-speaking professionals, commended the formation of the foundation because it helped fight cultural discrimination. He pledged Rixaka’s support for the foundation.
“I know she also sang protest songs against women’s exploitation and was one of the strongest leaders of women, although she was illiterate,” said Khosa.
Another music legend, Hlengani William Makhubele, who was a peer of Chavalala’s, also praised the late singer. “She used to be the only woman among men at festivals, but she was not inferior,” said Makhubele.
The launch rally was preceded by a prelaunch event at Siyandhani in Giyani that was addressed by Member of Parliament Joe Maswanganyi, who was accompanied by Greater Giyani Mayor Basani Shibambu.
Chavalala’s only child, Elizabeth Chavalala, said that she was happy with the formation of the foundation and it felt as if her mother was not dead.
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Vhembe Executive Mayor Mavhungu Lerule Ramakhanya (left) with the wives of the late legendary Xitsonga musician Daniel Shirinda during the launch.
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.