Address by Minister Nathi Mthethwa during the funeral service of Gospel Artist Lundi Tyamara, Western Cape

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05 Feb 2017

Program Director:  

Minister Susan Shabangu

Deputy Minister E Molekane

MEC Anroux Marais

The Tyamara family.

Creative workers of our country

Representatives of political parties

Representatives of the media

Distinguished audience,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Fellow compatriots.

Fellow South Africans we have gathered here not to mourn the untimely passing of Lundi Tyamara but to celebrate his life and contribution he has made in our national effort towards nation building and social cohesion through song.

As we gather here, we shed tears for Lundi, but those tears are of love, the joy we derived from the practice of his craft and the respect he extended to all of us. He understood South Africans as the mirror image of his creator. He strongly believed in the biblical injunction that God created us in his image.  

To you bo Tyamarha;

Mdlane;

Tutuse;

Nomdimba;

Mncele;

Ntlokwana banzana;

Nobusi.

As a country we ended 2016 and started 2017 in a sombre mood. The untimely passing of Mandoza and Sifiso Ncwane in 2016 shocked our people. As if the pain of losing the two artists was not enough, we opened 2017 with the passing of a Jazz icon Thandi Klaasen of a generation that preserved our sanity and humanity through song under extreme difficulties.

As we were laying Mama Thandi Klassen to rest, another gospel artist Lundi Tyamara departed this world, all these tragedies came at a time when our country needs their wisdom and contribution towards our efforts in nation building and social cohesion.

Yesterday, the voice of Lundi sang praise to the Lord and today, he is lying here in front of us without a voice.

The good deeds of Lundi are not interred with his bones but are with us. We, the title holders of his deeds, must advance them further for the betterment of society, this is what he wanted.

Development of any society cannot succeed if the youth does not play its role because you are the future. The realisation of the ideals of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society rests on your shoulders.

The youthful energy enables you to perform great feats in the theatre of ideas and innovation;

 

  • Your vigour enables you to be the most active transmitters of ideas and skills;
  • Your zeal spreads into the surroundings like wild-fire.
  • The youth acts as such not as a separate contingent vis-a-vis the broader society, but as an integral part thereof.

Lundi touched our lives in different ways. The tears we shed and the sense of helplessness we feel, are a direct result of the void his untimely passing has left in our lives.

The prevalent health challenges in our country affects all of us in different ways and therefore none of us can rest easy when such difficulties visit one of us. I know this to be true because, human beings by their very nature are social animals.

Every incident of health challenge suffered by one of us betrays our ignorance as a society to the prevailing health challenges we face. As a result of this ignorance the young and gifted become unnecessary victims thus robbing our country of a talent that we need to advance the cause of social transformation of our country.

Today we must reflect on what it is we are doing or not doing in promoting the healthy lifestyle amongst the youth of our country.

Today we must all renew our pledge and commitment to ensure that the youth of our country live a healthy lifestyle, they are the future of our country.

We salute all those who have taken it upon themselves to highlight the challenges of health and who campaign for our youth to live a healthy lifestyle. Their efforts and all our efforts have not gone unnoticed and are an immense contribution to the greater good of society.

It is disheartening that as we celebrate the noble cause of human rights, we find ourselves still confronted by the scourge of discrimination meted out against people who happen to choose a different lifestyle than ours.

Fellow South Africans, we must remember that the historical objective of our struggle has been the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. A discrimination of any kind cannot be tolerated at all.

Towards this end point, the government will spare neither strength nor effort in confronting and ultimately defeating this scourge. To this end we call on our communities and every sector of our society to take a stand against any form of discrimination directed against any members of human species.

We should master the courage of our conviction and stand up and be firm on our belief and commitment to human rights.

I hope all sectors of society such as business, the faith-based community, traditional leaders, the entertainment sector, labour and other sectors, will take it upon themselves not to turn a blind eye, not to just talk against discrimination when it suits them, but to do something concrete and positive in their communities to contribute to the collective effort to build a society that protects and respects everyone.

We call on all our people to be inspired by the heroism of the past generations to rise up and fight these ills.

To you Lundi,   

You fell asleep without goodbye,
But memories of you will never die.

Time may pass and fade away,
But memories of you will always stay.

Thank you.