Minister Nathi Mthethwa pays tribute to the late Mesh Mapetla

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01 Jan 2019

1 JANUARY 2019

Minister Nathi Mthethwa pays tribute to the late Mesh Mapetla

“Everybody's favourite Jazz Music Radio Show Presenter”- popularly known as "Mesh Talk", Jazz Presenter and Radio Legend, Mr Mesh Mapetla- has died.

Another apt description for Mr Mapetla, is that he was an extremely knowledgeable and a passionate bearer and sharer of all that is Jazz Music in the programmes he had presented over the decades, which led to him being known in Jazz circles as "The Ultimate Jazz Fundi".

Mesh Mapetla’s Radio career had seen him at the helm of critical Jazz Music shows on Radio stations including Radio BOP (i.e. Radio Bophuthatswana), Radio METRO (now known as Metro FM) and more recently Lesedi FM. At all these stations and specifically at Lesedi  FM, the legendary “Mesh Talk” popularised the Jazz music genre, as a Presenter, as well as a music compiler at the station. During his Sunday slot days at the station, jazz lovers would have their ears glued to the radio.

“We often do not pay enough tribute to Radio presenters and DJ’s for their role in popularising the music we inevitably grow to love. In reality, the role of DJ has historically been an underrated one—a tribe of behind-the-scenes heroes and heroines who continued to shape the direction of music long after they’re gone as a contributing force. That is who we are mourning today- a larger than life personality, who has quietly and with great commitment, shaped the way that Jazz enthusiasts have thought about, consumed, and appreciated this special genre of music over the decades.”   -      Hon Nathi Mthethwa

Indeed, whatever the genre, presenters or DJ’s are the cornerstone of that genre’s community. They are often the conduit through which music fans find new artists and remember older artists and hear their favourite songs. They do not merely play music, but often choose the music- decisions without which artists at times cannot have the platform, as they (i.e. the DJ’s) are their extension.

On behalf of the Department of Arts and Culture, I wish to convey my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Mr Mapetla, and all those whose lives he has touched with the love of his craft over the decades.

For further information, and interview requests please contact: Asanda Magaqa, Spokesperson for the Minister of Arts and Culture – 072 372 6807 and