Song honours The Village Pope

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Tshepo ‘The Village Pope’ Tshola

By Neo Kolane

In commemoration of the passing on of iconic musician Tshepo ‘The Village Pope’ Tshola, the last song he wrote and recorded titled COVID-19 was released on July 15 2022.

The song features his son Kamohelo Tshola and is produced by another heavyweight in the music industry Khotso Thahane.                                  

Fond memories of the legendary Tshepo continue to be etched in Basotho’s hearts through the smile and raspy laughter he shared with Basotho and most incredibly, the inspiring words he spoke to Basotho through his songs.

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Tshepo forever always thought about his fans and how they were dealing with COVID-19 and praying that they never ignore the dangers of the Coronavirus.

Speaking as a featured artist in the song, Khotso explained that he has worked for many years with The Village Pope.

Khotso went on to say that he has written some songs for Tshola on previous albums, one entitled Crying on his album called Lesedi.

He was also one of the producers on the album The New Dawn which was executive-produced by the late Hugh Masekela.

Khotso who has always had a good relation with the late jazz musician told theReporter this week that it was in August 2020, just after COVID-19 was at its peak when Ntate Tshepo had an idea that the two should do a song about COVID-19 awareness.

He said they both worked on it together and wrote it.

He revealed that he wrote the music while Tshepo wrote the lyrics, Kamohelo was a backing voice and Tau Malebo who was the saxophone player, Thabo Mlangeni on bass, Doodz Molefe on percussions, Winnie Tsuluba as a back up singer and Keke Maliehe on keyboards contributed to the production.

“We did the song, it was in the middle of the pandemic and we had no money. We worked on it together and produced it together and because of Ntate Tshepo’s profile he tried to see and sent it to radio stations internationally and locally. 

“We took the song to the National Emergency Command Centre so that it would maybe be used as a COVID-19 awareness song or to get funding to make it get bigger and better.

“We tried, unfortunately until we were promised but money was not forth coming,” the song composer disclosed.

Khotso said that as the song was about to be released, just two weeks later Tshepo passed away.

He said it had always been their dream to finish the song, after endless talks about how it can be proved better.

“I then decided to release it with Kamohelo and we both added some parts to the song to make it see the vision we had with it along with the ideas Ntate Tshepo had.

“The song is about the impact COVID-29 on the globe and encouraging people to vaccinate and wear masks. It was very relevant at the time it was written.

“We decided to release it now as it was the last recording that he did, and to commemorate the first anniversary of Tshepo’s passing and his legacy,” he revealed.

The feedback is positive, people are enjoying the song; young and old can relate to it.

The song is released on KRT productions