Minister Nathi Mthethwa pays tribute to Natalie Cole

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04 Jan 2016

Arts and Culture Minister, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, joins the international community in mourning the sad loss of Natalie Cole.

“Natalie Cole was a songbird supreme, whom we will remember for her nostalgic and thoughtful yet modern musical renditions, especially her hit, Unforgettable, where she paid tribute to the music of her father, Nat King Cole. Now we in turn pay tribute to her.”

“Her life was not an easy one, but she managed to face the challenges that plagued her earlier success and emerged out of these difficulties as a greater musician and more enduring star.

With album titles such as “Inseparable”, “Everlasting” and “Unforgettable…with love”, and more recently “Still Unforgettable”, we shall remember her for capturing the emotions of timelessness and an appreciation for abundant love. She conveyed how precious and fragile time is in the lives of humankind. Yet her music also expressed a desire to transcend the mere workings of history and rather to seek to commune with eternity.

Yet like her father, she emerged out of an America where the very working of history and racism had affected and undermined all aspects of their lives. Their struggle was not only to sing but, through so doing, to throw off the shackles that weighed down black people’s lives,” said Minister Mthethwa.

She was blessed to have grown up in an environment steeped in the arts, where those at the forefront of music frequented her parents’ home and shaped her worldview.

“As South Africans, we shall remember her fondly, as our sister in song, and our comrade against apartheid. We shall never forget her defiant rendition of “Pink Cadillac” at the London concert in celebration of our former president Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday in 1988 at a time when he was still in prison and when apartheid repression was still at its height.

Our heartfelt condolences go to the family of Natalie Cole.

Hamba Kahle, Natalie Cole, sister of our shared struggle, bastion of hope and love through your music, defender of freedom, you shall remain close to our heart,” concluded Minister Mthethwa.

For comments, contact: Lisa Combrinck at: +28 82 821 4886.