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Dr Thomas Hasani Chauke

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Dr Thomas Hasani Chauke Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the development and promotion of Xitsonga traditional music in the country. His prolific songwriting and performances have put Xitsonga music in the forefront.
Profile of Dr Thomas Hasani Chauke

Dr Thomas Hasani Chauke was born in 1952 in Saselamani Village near Malamulele in Limpopo. He left school at an early age to respond to his calling as a musician. His professional career as a recording artist started in 1980 at Gramophone Records Company, a Gallo subsidiary.

His style of music includes the sound of an electric guitar and female backers, which have earned him a unique place in the history of Xitsonga traditional music. His pioneering role in the development and evolution of Xitsonga music has been rewarded with a string of honours and awards.

Dr Chauke is the pride and joy of Vatsonga and has received support from the SABC radio station Munghana Lonene FM. The station has been behind Dr Chauke’s music career over the years and has bestowed him with no less than 11 merit awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and the Greatest Xitsonga Musician of Our Times’ award in 2013, for his sterling contribution to Tsonga culture.

Since 1994 Dr Chauke has amassed unsurpassed achievements as a recurrent recipient of the South African Music Awards statuettes in the traditional music category, conceding defeat only twice to his own son Themba Chauke and rival George Maluleke. He has achieved the same golden success after the inauguration of the South African Traditional Music Awards and a certificate of recognition from the former Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sibusiso Ndebele.

In 2010, the University of Venda recognised him with an honorary doctorate (PhD) for his musical contribution to nation-building. He has passed his gift on to his children. At home he has established a musical family, starting from his daughter Conny, who has released 10 albums, all of which have achieved Gold status.

His son Themba has five albums, three of which have achieved Gold status. His wife, who repeatedly features on his albums, has released two albums and both have gone on to achieve Gold status, while his younger son, Hammy, also has five albums to his name.