Khatisa Chavalala was the legendary singer who was born in 1946 at Greenfarm in Malamulele in the Collins Chabane Local Municipality in Limpopo.
She was survived by her sole child, Elizabeth, also the mother of one daughter Hlamalani Mabunda.
When she died in 2009 Hlamalani had also one child but now she has two children.
Khatisa Chavalala was the daughter of Risenga Chauke who was one of the sons of legendary traditional healer Xamukwangwa Chauke reported to have assisted many people including the legendary explorer Joao Albasin.
Khatisa Chavalala was the sole composer, dancer and lead singer of her band Khatisa Chavalala and The Queens.
She is also regarded as the first Shangaan/Xitsonga female artist and she died at the pinnacle of her music success.
Although she herself was illiterate and never saw the four walls of a class room from inside, she was passionate about education.
She assisted many destitute children to attain education.
She also provided shelter for the homeless and was a true friend to those who had collided against the wall of life.
Before gender activism became a buzzword, Khatisa Chavalala used her music to fight women oppression.
Her song ” Nqambi ya wansati yi nga deleriwi” comes to mind.
Loosely translated she says in the song that she must not be looked down upon because she is a woman.
No one has emerged to replace her in her music genre.
She has received many certificates, trophies and awards in her illustrious career.
Amongst the many awards she received is the Living Legend award from the Limpopo department of sports, arts and culture and the Mapungubwe award.
At her funeral service another legend General Daniel Shirinda who has also since died bemoaned the fact that the all conquering dancer died without having received a presidential award.
She dominated the music scene for over four decades.
She was the first female artist north of Polokwane to record with a big company like Gallo records.
She later recorded with Wea Records which later became Tusk music.
In the seventies when Xitsonga music groups used to hold music festivals at venues like Jabulani Amphitheatre in Soweto, Khatisa Chavalala was the only woman who led her group and stood herself against male groups.
She composed one of her hits Nqambi ya wansati yi nga deleriwa (I must not be looked down upon because I am a woman).
In most of her songs she urged women to stand up and not have inferiority complex because of their gender.
Khatisa Chavalala’s band was known throughout the country and she performed in areas such as Sausvile, Soweto, Soshanguve, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
Munghana Lonene FM radio station has also honoured her several times with certificates and trophies and has also given her The Living Legend award.
This is on top of several trophies and certificates that she received in her career
He CD released posthumously is still selling in Limpopo.
It is remarkable that over six years after her death she is still dominating her type of music and a successor is not seen coming. This is the legend that deserves the highest honour such as the Ikhamanga award in silver.
A true traditional artist, Chavalala played xingomana (traditional drum) and mhalamhala (blowhorn) and her music has no western influences.
This is the reason it must be preserved for future generations.
Her daughter Elizabeth Chavalala who was her only child has expressed joy with the starting of the foundation named after her mother.
“I feel as if my mother did not died because what unfolds after her death is something I never thought of,” she said.
She is the treasurer and spokesperson of the foundation while her daughter Hlamalani a school teacher is the chairperson.
The foundation will protect the copyright of the late icon’s music and ensures it is not being scavenged.
Some of the legacy projects are as follows:
- A yearly music festival to promote traditional music as well as a traditional shows where artifacts and traditional clothings and pottery are displayed.
- The foundation must also continue with her legacy and assist destitute children.
- The foundation must be there for women and must have programmes of assisting them.