Executive mayor Ramakhanya officially launches Khatisa Chavalala Cultural Heritage Foundation

Executive mayor hails foundation started to continue the legacy of legendary musician

Vhembe District Executive mayor Mavhungu Ramakhanya has praised the founders of the Khatisa Chavalala Cultural Heritage Foundation and they were doing well to continue her legacy because she was like the women of 1955 who protested against the “dompas”.

She was addressing hundreds of people at the PP Hlungwani High School sports ground in Green farm at the Collins Chabane municipality in Limpopo on Saturday during the launch of the foundation aimed at continuing the legacy of the legendary woman who was born in 1942 and died on May 6 2009.

Vhembe Executive Mayor Mavhungu Lerule Ramakhanya (left) with the wives of the late legendary Xitsonga musician Daniel Shirinda during the launch. | Pic: Raphy Maluleke

 Chavalala  was the first woman among Vatsonga Machangana to record a song and she was also a legend who won many awards and recorded with big companies such as Gallo and Wea Records.

Amongst the awards that she received is the Living Legend Award from Munghana Lonene FM as well as the Mapungubwe award.

She was also an philanthropist who took many destitute children under her wings and sent them to school.

Accompanied by Collins Chabane municipality mayor Moses Maluleke,  the executive mayor said she had not known the late musician before.

“But judging from what I have researched I have no doubt that she was a strong character like the women of 1955,” said Ramakhanya.

She said since the foundation also aimed at assisting destitute children, the district municipality was ready to enter into partnership with the foundation in that regard,” she said before joining musician Vuyelwa, the widow of the late Shangaan Disco King Peta Teanet.

Author Ernest Khosa who represented Rixaka, a forum of Xitsonga speaking professionals commended the formation of the foundation because it helped fight cultural discrimination.

He pledged Rixaka’s support for the foundation.

“I know she also sang protest songs against women exploitation and was one of the strongest women leaders although she was illiterate,” said Khosa.

The other musical legend Hlengani William Makhubele who was a peer of the late Chavalala also praised the late singer.

“She used to be the only woman amongst men at festivals but she was not inferior.” Said Makhubele.

The launch rally was preceded by a prelaunch event at Siyandhani in Giyani that was addressed by member of parliament Joe Maswanganyi who was accompanied by  Greater Giyani mayor Basani Shibambu.

Hosi Aaron Mahumani made a contribution to the new foundation on behalf of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa.

Ramakhanya was impressed with two widows of the late General Daniel Shirinda who ere well dressed and pledged to buy them traditional clothes.

Former minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs Rich Baloyi is one of the board members.

Khatisa’s only child Elizabeth Chavalala said with the formation of the foundation it looked like her mother was not dead.

“I am happy because her legacy is continuing and it is like she is still alive,” she said.

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