Although at the time of her passing on last Thursday, Patricia Majalisa had long left the Dalom Music stable, fans across the world looked up to her as the surviving figurehead to continue the Splash music legacy after the death of her ex-husband, Dan Tshanda in January 2019.
Tshanda, Majalisa and their former band mate, Penwell Kunene had become the pillars of Splash music since its establishment. They became household names, and grew the brand beyond South African borders where they were idolised.
Their music became very popular in Botswana, Zimbabwe and neighbouring Namibia. They had built a strong ‘music empire’ that delivered beautiful music through iconic names such as Matshikos, Dalom Kids, Peacock, Thabile Mazolwane, and Botswana’s own Donald ‘Don b’ Botshelo, while Majalisa and Tshanda also produced solo albums under the stable.
Kunene was the first to depart this world in 2009 following a long illness. However, Tshanda roped in Kunene’s younger brother, Bafana Kunene to carry the torch. He would often times perform alongside him during their local shows. But Kunene senior’s death wasn’t strongly felt as he had also left the stable prior to his death.
However, when Tshanda died on January 5 last year, sadness enveloped Splash's local music fans. But they were comforted by the fact that Majalisa, who was in attendance at Tshanda’s memorial service in Gaborone, would carry the baton and continue the Dalom music genre.
Now, more than a year later their beacon of hope has also been extinguished. Her death has been hugely felt, with one local disco music promoter stating that
Mogatusi Spring Sebego of Springbok Entertainment, who worked with Majalisa on a number of local shows, said this week that Majalisa’s death had touched her.
“It’s a shock. I learnt about her passing through her cousin who called me this morning. I don't want to share much detail. I’m lost for words. I spoke to her on Tuesday because we were planning to host a show together after corona [COVID-19]. So she wanted to do merchandise. I am heartbroken to an extent that I think I’m done with disco music,” Sebego said.
Sebego is not the only one touched by the disco queen’s demise as many Batswana took to social media to pay tributes to her. But the now big question that everyone is asking is; what’s next for Dalom music, is it the end? Who will pick the pieces and continue the legacy?
While the stable produced talented musicians, there seems to be no one left to take over from the departed icons. Mazolwane and Don B are no more, Dalom Kids does not have a particular figurehead to look up to, and Slindile has been quiet for some time. Therefore, the future looks certainly bleak for Splash music.