Tshanda: his legacy lives on

Tuesday, 22 January 2019
Tshanda: his legacy lives on

“I don’t copy anyone’s music I’m rather copied. If you buy original CDs, you’ll see that I’m the composer, producer, engineer, arranger so I own all my music.” said Dan Tshanda.

[Chronicle SA] First it was our very own Lebasho, then it was the promising Donald Botshelo, Dan Tshanda’s son in music, who also passed on; after many years when we thought we gained balance, former Peacock lead singer Thabile Mazolwane left. It was a sad experience in pantsula disco fraternity, since the ‘Thuso wa Kerala wa nkolota’ as Mazolwane was known, was one of the few remaining hopefuls of disco power houses.

A week ago, the ‘big husband,’ the creator of splash fame, also left. It was a shock to all; if this was the end of disco. Everybody born in the 70s, 80s, 90s and even into the mellinium years would tell you about the impact of the splash music. This disco, aptly called ‘splash’ was the house hold music. Dan Tshanda’s Splash genre was the only one that survived post disco era. This was mainly due to his high love, support and following in Southern Africa in particular, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. This was where he earned more hearts. In Botswana, he managed to get sold out shows and helped cement venues like The Rec Park in Molapowabojang which was the home of splash and many others. At that time, good original music was only seen on good selling spots like Ko Setlhareng.com in Main Mall, opposite Botswana Book Centre.

Whenever groups from his stable, the Shining Dalom Music released new albums and also due to his evergreen catalogue, people flocked in large numbers for the new music. He got so much following from combi, taxi drivers, old, young, from settlements and homemade beer hot spots. He also helped shine the light on the late crooner Donald Botshelo, who was known by the stage name Don B. Daniel was an inspiration to other pantsula musicians and the growth of the pantsula community. Daniel Ndivhiseni Tshanda was born in Chiawelo, South Western Townships (SOWETO).

He was a gifted lead vocalist and bassist. At an early age, Daniel had to leave pen and paper at primary level due to the fact that the family was finding it tough to pay for his fees. He was forced to hustle in the streets to make life. As any hustler in the street he also worked on his music talent and worked on a few cassette demos and one of them landed on the hands of Gallo Music Records. Gallo Records is the largest music label in South Africa based in Johannesburg and owned by Times Media Group. The late Hamilton Nzimande of Gallo Record managed to record him and released an album which did not do well. But with the trust and hard work, Gallo gave him another chance for a sophomore but at the time he was trading by the name splash. Splash became a house hold name in Soweto with the help of the late Raymond Chikapa Enock Phiri. Ray Phiri was a South African jazz, fusion and mbaqanga musician.

After a couple of successful releases Peacock, the sophomore, Snake 1987, money 1988, Tshotshoko 1989, Eye for an eye 1990, two members of splash then formed up their own band Matshikos and released an album ’The park is mine’. But Splash continued to unleash music to the people. In 1998 they signed to Bula Records and released Ndivhuwo, then Setlhopha which was well received in Botswana. This was released under his own company, Dalom Music. Like one local music producer once said ‘good music ga o bole, o tshwana le molato (good music has long shelve life),’ Splash music will preserve his legacy. He did a lot and carved a lot of many artist dreams, the likes of Dalom Kids, Matshikos, Peacock etc. It won’t be a surprice when Tshanda’s name appears with names of great Africa artists like Koffi Olomide, Tabu ley, Franco François Luambo Makiadi , Papa Wemba, Marriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie to name a few.

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