Black Missionaries’ keyboardist Gift Thugo was laid to rest at his home, Sitima Village, Traditional Authority Kapichi in Thyolo on Tuesday.
Thugo died on Monday at Mulanje Mission Hospital.
People from all walks of life came to pay their last respects to the man, who as an artist was an entertainer to Malawians, a teacher to the students and a pastor in the church.
The family said they were at a loss with Thugo’s death describing him as their wealth.
“Death has robbed us of a man who was the pillar of the family. We are still shocked and speechless but only God knows why he had to be taken away from us now,” said his uncle, who could not hold back the tears.
As the remains of Thugo were being interred, his wife shook her head and with tears rolling down her cheeks she said to the Black Missionaries members: “Your friend is gone, you will never see him again and he will never be present during your performances.”
As a pastor, who ministered for Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ Malawi at Naotcha in Blantyre, members from the church travelled all the way from Blantyre to pay their last respects.
Some members sang a song which Thugo used to love towards the end of the burial ceremony which left people in tears.
Thugo used to play the second keys in Black Missionaries and at times in the absence of another keyboardist Chizondi Fumulani, he would play the main keys.
Chizondi could also not hold back the tears during the burial ceremony and he had to be assisted to stay on his feet by friends soon after he had laid a wreath with drummer Paul Chokani.
“Apart from performing with him and playing the keyboards together, Gift was a brother to me. Since 2003 we used to stay together in one house and the same room. I am at pains,” he said.
Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) Southern Chapter Chairperson Papa Mtume said:
“It’s sad to lose another great talent as the creative industry is a family and as a union we are very sad. You may recall that it’s not long time when we also lost drummer Stanley Jere so we are pains and may his soul rest in peace.”
Lead guitarist Takudziwani Chokani said the death of Thugo has left a very big gap in the creative industry.
“He was very humble and had passion for music. He was hard working. We will miss him. We started performing with him in 1998 with Wailing Brothers,” said Takudziwani.
He revealed that Thugo was about to release a gospel album.
“This year he wanted to release a gospel album and he was in the studio. Actually we assisted him in some songs and we were about to go back to the studio to continue the project,” said the lead guitarist.
The death of Thugo united the artists following recent reports that there were cracks in Black Missionaries with the revival of Wailing Brothers.
Even when they were laying wreaths, bassist Peter Amidu laid a wreath with Takudziwani, Chizondi was with Paul while Anjiru laid a wreath with Anthony Makondetsa.
Born on October 30, 1982, Thugo is survived by a wife and three children.
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