Benson Ntlemo speech at PP Hlungwani sports ground in Greenfarm 0n March 2 2019

Programme Directors, allow me to greet

Hosi Madonsi, Hosi Siyandhani and other traditional leaders present

Vhembe District Executive mayor Manana Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya

Collins Chabane mayor tatana Moses Maluleke

Tatana Ernest Khosa from Rixaka,

Tatana Jeleni from Vhembe Chamber of Commerce

General Shirinda family

Musicians MC Mabasa, HW Makhubele, Vuyelwa and others

Shamukwangwa family, Hosi Shigamani and other Vahlengwe

Protocol observed

Benson Ntlemo speech at PP Hlungwani sports ground in Greenfarm 0n March 2 2019
Benson Ntlemo speech at PP Hlungwani sports ground in Greenfarm 0n March 2 2019

Yesterday at the prelaunch dinner of this foundation at Siyandhani in Giyani, I quoted Dr Allan Paton one of South Africa’s most eminent writers.

He said: “Fear is a journey, a terrible journey but sorrow is the arrival.”

Dr  Paton went on: “Sorrow is better than fear. When storm threatens, a man fears for his house but when the house is destroyed, he does nothing about the storm but rebuilds the house.”

This is the fear that engulfed the Chavalala family when our icon fell sick and you are aware because in one of her songs she mentions having been treated at Tshilidzini Hospital.

And she later passed on and sorrow held sway.

But sorrow is not forever.

The rebuilding of the house is something that we are doing now.

We do nothing about death but we do a lot about reviving her legacy.

That is what the project we are launching now will do, reviving what Khatisa Chavalala did while she was walking on earth.

This will immortalise her and she will live through the foundations for generations to come.

I said in Giyani that for years as  a journalist at Pace Magazine and for various publications I later years, I was a constant visitor at the  Chavalala household in Greenfarm.

I also mentioned that   after her death, I felt she had no business to die.

Despite her illiteracy, she had an outstanding intellectual capacity that held her in high stead.

I also contacted Joe Maswanganyi about the idea and later approached her daughter Elizabeth Chavalala who took us to Hosi Siyandhani who consulted the Chavalala clan and gave the idea a stamp of approval.

That is why we are here.

We have found that the icon was a community builder.

She took destitute children under her wings and gave them shelter.

She also sent some to school and they are now professionals.

That is why we felt she had no business to die.

As we all know she was also a gender activist and her song Nqambi Ya wansati yi nga deleriwi ( I must not be looked down upon because I am a woman artist) is a case in point.

Khatisa Chavalala was a multi award winning icon who succeeded despite the odds stacked against her as a woman, and as a black person and illiterate for that matter.

That is the  legacy that we must make sure does not die.

Before I go further, let me put some good words  for our political leaders in particular our executive mayor manana Ramakhanya and local mayor tatana Maluleke for gracing the occasion.

I am glad you came. As politicians you must go to the people and we are the people.

Special thanks also to tatana Ernest Khosa who drove all the way from Pretoria for the event and manana Vuyelwa, real names Gladys Mapitlula, the widow of the late disco king Peta Teanet who drove all the way from Tzaneen.

We cherish your support.

We also applaud Hosi Madonsi for his consistent support.

I will not forget Vahlengwe  who are my strong relatives in my maternal side.

We have here Hosi Shigamani and councilor Joseph Mabasa known as Marhekerhe who are in the same family tree as my mother’s family of Muhanyi and Skhwanyalala.

About the project let me emphasise that we shall have a number of legacy projects in the name of Khatisa Chavalala.

From here we are going for  strategic planning and from there we shall come out with something more than we had anticipated.

But let me also state here that we cannot at this stage say all about the project for the sake of protecting the copyright.

The Afrikaners have a saying that runs thus “Jy moenie jou jas in the lug hang nie” loosely translated it means: “Do not hang your jacket in the air.”

In short we are making history, starting a foundation to further the works of an illiterate icon.

Let us all enjoy. Thanks

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