Mthethwa urges SA to praise artists while they are still alive
Minister Nathi Mthethwa says all South Africans owe local legendary artists a profound debt of gratitude for their services.
JOHANNESBURG – Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa says all South Africans owe local legendary artists a profound debt of gratitude for their services in being a vehicle in the fight for a free and democratic South Africa.
The minister was speaking at the funeral service of jazz maestro Thandi Klaasen yesterday at the JD Thomas Hall in Eden Park.
Friends, family and musicians paid their last respects to Klaasen.
Also present at the gathering was former president Thabo Mbeki.
The minister says paying tribute to fallen South African musicians cannot only take the form of words spoken at their funerals.
“They endured apartheid and felt pain and sacrificed the best years of their lives.”
Mthethwa says there is a cruel practice in the country of not appreciating local artists while they are still alive.
“A society cannot be called a caring society if it does not care for its legends.”
Klaasen was awarded South Africa's Order of the Baobab in Gold in 2006 for the excellent achievement in and contribution to the art of music.