LEST WE FORGET
Dancehall sensation DJ Snagga T was among the 77 people who perished in Albert Street fire
The devastating fire in Joburg’s Albert Street in August, which claimed the lives of 77 people, also had an impact on the city’s vibrant entertainment scene. The blaze claimed the life of dancehall DJ and MC, Nkosinathi ‘Snagga T’ Masuku and his fiancée.
At the age of 40, just 21 days after celebrating his birthday, Snagga T met his untimely end.
He reportedly died in the fire alongside his fiancée, who was apparently also a DJ and originally from Zimbabwe, according to friends of the couple.
According to the couple’s Facebook pages, their deaths occurred two weeks after they became engaged, adding a poignant layer to the loss felt by those who knew them.
Snagga T, a devoted adherent of the Rastafarian culture, not only shaped the Joburg dancehall scene but also collaborated with the likes of former YFM DJs Andy “The Admiral” Kasrils and Jah Seed, co-founder of the kwaito musical group, Bongo Maffin.
Tanya Irene Mabhena, the mother of Snagga T’s child, recalled: “Snagga loved music; it was his life. But he also loved our child and did all he could to provide for her, even after our separation.
“We were all saddened by the loss of Snagga T. It’s worse because our child always asks about him, and, as per our culture, I can’t directly tell her in broad daylight. I always have to make up a story and wait until she falls asleep at night to tell her that her father has passed on and is in heaven.
“But what consoles me is he lived his life and loved our child till the end.”
The DJ’s father, Lottie Masuku, said: “His multifaceted talents were not confined to music.” Masuku remembered his son as a gifted football player and athlete during his school days.
Snagga T’s remains were repatriated to Zimbabwe for burial on 13 September. His memory lives on through his parents, siblings, a five-year-old daughter and those he touched through his music.
As we reflect on the Albert Street fire, let us not only mourn the loss of life but also celebrate the vibrant lives that once graced our world. The dancehall beats may have been silenced, but the echoes of Snagga T’s music will resonate in the hearts of those who cherished him.
The city of Johannesburg has not released names of the deceased so information is based on family members, friends and activists helping on the ground. DM
Daily Maverick has replaced the original main image as an incorrect photo was used of the fiancee. It was not her. We apologise for the error. Due to scant information available, Daily Maverick has since withdrawn the name of his partner.
Daily Maverick will continue to publish tributes to people who lost their lives in the fire, as information comes to hand. Read our tribute to Melita Mhlebi here.