Tsepo Tshola Image via Twitter @SihleGeneral10

Goodbye Village Pope: Friends and family remember Tsepo Tshola

Close friends and family came together to pay tribute to legendary jazz musician Tsepo Tshola in a heartfelt memorial service.


Tsepo Tshola Image via Twitter @SihleGeneral10

“Village Pope” Tsepo Tshola, was one of South Africa’s brightest jazz musicians. Originally from Lesotho, Tshola made quite the mark in the South African music scene and will forever be one of our most loved musicians. 


Tsepo Tshola succumbed to COVID-19 on 15 July in Teyateyaneng, Lesotho. Fans and close friends of Tshola’s were devastated by the legendary jazz musician’s passing, and many took to social media to remember him. He was 68-years-old at the time of his passing.

The Village Pope had been in jazz for more than 40 years and joined boy band Sankomota as a vocalist in 1970. Tshola toured most of Europe with his music. 


Close friends and family of Tsepo Tshola’s came together at the Joburg Theatre on 22 July to remember his legacy. 

The memorial service was hosted by filmmaker and television producer Duma Ndlovu. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, not many people attended the memorial service, however, the memorial was live-streamed for more to come together in remembrance of the musician. 

Burnout hitmaker Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse opened the memorial service with the national anthem. 

Yvonne Chaka Chaka took the stage and gave a heartfelt tribute to the legendary jazz musician. She compared her relationship with him to her relationship with Sipho Mabuse mentioning the two are like her brothers. 

“When I recorded Yvonne and friends with Tsepo Tshola, he was there from track one to track ten. We only did two tracks. He was there to guide me, he was there to help me and shape me.”

She reassured the citizens of Lesotho that South Africa is also mourning the legend and they are not alone.


Acapella group The Soil made up of Buhlebendalo Nda, Ntsika Ngxanga, and Luphindo Ngxanga performed a musical number in remembrance of Tshepo Tshola. 

The three gave an emotional performance of one of their most popular songs, Sedilaka which directly translates to ‘my light’. 

You can watch the full memorial service here:

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