Creative industry players including mentees, protégés, friends, family, colleagues and government officials took turns to celebrate the life and legacy of the late showbizz mogul Mosupi ‘Tops’ Masole during the latter’s charged memorial service held at Botswana Craft in Gaborone on Wednesday.
Masole died on the early hours of Valentine’s Day at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone aged 62. One of the first people to take the stage to pay respect to Masole was mentee and industry leading female promoter Zenzele Hirschfeld who described Masole as a father, mentor, and friend. Hirschfeld who also lost her mother the same day Masole died said she met Masole when she was managing Vee Mampeezy. “He liked to change numbers and if there was one person who knew how to negotiate was this man,” she revealed.
“Tops is the richest man that I have ever known, I said rich because he was rich in soul and has given to this country than any other promoter. We are here to talk about a great man that this nation never even recognised,” she said. Hirschfeld recalled how when they bestowed honours on Masole when he retired in 2019, the government did not see the need to appreciate the event. She said Masole made Maun what it is therefore she asked Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Tumiso Rakgare and his government to make sure that they named an art centre in honour of Masole.
Musician, LaTimmy who was regarded as Masole’s son because of their close relationship, said Masole was the father of them all. He said Masole would never give a person a review after a musical performance but rather talked to the person before they hit the stage. LaTimmy said he is was one of the first artists to be signed under Masole’s
Vee Mampeezy went down memory lane, reminiscing how one day Masole asked for a refund after a dreadful performance one day in Maun. “I knew that when a gig has flopped, I would spend the night crying about it but Masole taught me to be strong,” Vee Mampeezy entoned. He said during their Vee VS Franco tour in Maun, Masole fuelled the duo’s rivalry and pushed them to deliver their best on stage.
For his part media personality and comedian, Dignash said he was saddened by the fact that the society has reduced itself and documented itself on nothing. “We need to do some serious introspection because it also says a lot about the leadership that is lacking in our society today. We still do not have the same character and charisma that Tops had,” he highlighted.
Rakgare, although part of his lengthy speech was to address creatives at large, said there was more they could have learnt from Masole. “The creative industry did not only but the government lost as well. Masole helped to create employment and an opportunity in Maun by establishing a night club there,” he said. Masole will be laid to rest at Mokubilo village tomorrow.