Mapantsula seized the moment to create yet another lasting impression when they celebrated and honoured the departed veteran musician Dan Tshanda.
On Thursday,in partnership with Botswana Musicians Union and Duma fm, the Botswana Pantsula Association organised a memorable memorial service for Dan Tshanda who died a fortnight ago. Their members turned on their style for their late ‘Boss’ as he was referred to by many of them.
Dressed in their usual regalia of Dickies, khaki shirts smartly tucked in and matching Dickies loose fit khaki pants neatly pressed complete with white gloves on, while others carried their walking sticks or batons, Mapantsula came in large numbers and filled the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) multipurpose hall.
Their fashion sense, which they always rave about, was visible.
Tshanda had released over 30 albums and produced hits for other artists under his label Dalom Music, and his music was played throughout the proceedings of the memorial service.
Dan’s music has been part of the Pantsula culture for a very long time and as speakers at the memorial service said, it was only befitting for Mapantsula to honour him in style.
As the spokesperson of the association, Mompati ‘Sparks’ Dikgomo said Tshanda and his Dalom crew were critical to its formation.
Mapantsula always attended Splash festivals and danced at the shows.
Although they were denied much time to do their usual parade and exhibit the pantsula dance, it was a good sight, especially for those who are not pantsulas.
“Tshanda was our father and we had to honour him. His music has always been part of us and we have worked well with him hence this memorial service. He has contributed immensely
Other speakers such as Peleng (Lobatse) Customary Court president, Kgosi Arnold Somolokae who is also a self proclaimed ‘true pantsula’ said that Mapantsula always respected Tshanda and his music.
Also dressed in true Pantsula outfit, which he was boastful about, Somolekae said that while there is stereotype that associates Pantsula with criminal activities, people should know that true pantsulas are all about love, peace and fashion.
“Mapantsula have been associated with petty crime or common nuisance, however that is just stereotype. We are just about peace and those who have attended Tshanda’s music festivals will attest to the fact that he was a man of peace and discouraged criminal activities. He always talked about love,” he said.
South African singer Patricia Majalisa, who has worked with Tshanda from the formative years of the Splash group, said that the Pantsula should ensure that the spirit of Tshanda lived on by playing and dancing to his music.
“We should definitely take over where he left off. He was a pioneer, but we should step up and continue his music. His music and spirit will live on,” she said.
Majalisa said that Tshanda’s passion contributed to his success, adding that he was always persistent to achieve greatness.She stated that he contributed hugely to her music career after she joined his group as a teenager.
Meanwhile, it is expected that a large number of Mapantsula will cross to South Africa next Saturday to bid Tshanda farewell. He will be buried at Westpark Cemetery.