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Tshola pays tribute to Coyote

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Lerato Matheka


 MASERU — One of Lesotho’s greatest musicians, Tshepo Tshola, has described the death of illustrious vocalist Nana Coyote, the former Stimela lead singer, as a great loss to the music industry.

Born Tsietsi Daniel Motijoane on August 15 1955, in Teyateyaneng, Coyote died on July 5 after a short battle with pneumonia.

“It is truly a great loss for the music industry,” Tshola, popularly known as The Village Pope, told Xpress People on Friday.

Coyote was expected to be laid to rest yesterday at Vanderbijl Park Cemetery in Vereeniging, South Africa, according to his brother Molefi Motijoane.

“We are getting ready for the funeral preparations,” Molefi said on Thursday. “Bra Nana will be laid to rest at Vanderbijl Park on Saturday.”

Although Coyote was born in Lesotho, the vocalist found fame across the border in South Africa.

He began his music career in the 1970s while he was still a student in Qwaqwa, South Africa, before joining the musical band Black Five.

At the height of apartheid in South Africa, Coyote came back home in 1980 and joined Uhuru Band — now called Sankomota — where he worked with the likes of Tshola.

In 1984, he went to Johannesburg to further his musical career.

His biggest break came when a musical group called Ozila asked him to feature as a lead vocalist in one of their songs, I’m Suffering, which became a hit.

Coyote later featured in a duet with Steve Kekana on the song Take Your Love which is regarded as one of South Africa’s all-time classics.

Unsurprisingly, Coyote was asked by Stimela leader Ray Phiri to feature in one of their songs, Whisper in the Deep, which was to become another hit.

When Phiri went on tour in the early 90s, Stimela asked Coyote to be the group’s lead vocalist.

“I was very devastated when I heard of Nana’ death,” Tshola said.

“I worked with him in the late 70s and early 80s in a band called Uhuru, now called Sankomota, and I must say true talent has been lost.

“He was a very good person at heart, a very funny person with unique talent.”

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