Rebecca Malope wanted to help Lundi Tyamara. The queen of gospel had a long history with the late singer who was buried in Worcester, Western Cape, on Sunday.
When Tyamara arrived in Johannesburg in pursuit of a music career, he sang background vocals for Malope. But in his hour of need, Malope said she was unable to reach out to him.
“After Lundi died I sent his manager, Anele Hlazo, an SMS asking him how I could help. He never responded. But when I met him at the funeral, I discovered that I sent the message to the wrong person.”
Meanwhile Malope, pictured, almost did not perform at Tyamara’s funeral due to what she called politics of the industry.
Malope said she was hurt that some people labelled her a “funeral specialist performer” after she performed at the sendoffs of Senzo Meyiwa, S’fiso Ncwane and now Tyamara.
She said the snide remarks made by a fellow musician that she refused to name affected her badly. She said the person claimed that whenever a famous person dies Malope sees an opportunity to shine.
She said after receiving a call from a friend breaking the news, she was not keen to perform or do interviews.
“My friend told me that the person had even suggested that I’m happy when someone dies, especially in the gospel industry. I was hurt and angry at the same time. I went to the funeral with a bleeding heart.
“But I decided to perform because I realised that I had flown from Johannesburg to Cape Town to bid Lundi farewell. I was not there for the people of the industry who have issues. There was no way I was not going to perform for Lundi, he grew up under my wing.”
Malope said she would not confront the person who made the claims because she hated fighting.
She said she performed at the funerals of both Tyamara and Ncwane because they looked up to her.
Malope said the gospel industry needed a serious prayer so that musicians can come together and support each other. “With everything that happened I’m happy that Lundi was buried in a dignified manner.”