Tsekeleke refused amputation 10 years ago - close friend reveals

02 August 2017 - 10:07
By Kyle Zeeman
Tsekeleke had been struggling with diabetes for ten years.
Image: Via Kwaito Revolution YouTube Tsekeleke had been struggling with diabetes for ten years.

Tsekeleke's close friend Max "Chief" Mjamba has revealed that the Fatty Boom Boom hitmaker fiercely refused to let doctors amputate his leg as far back as ten years ago for the sake of his music career.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Mjamba said Tsekeleke had been diagnosed with diabetes ten years ago and had been warned about the onset of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which restricts blood flow to the feet and legs. 

"He was warned about his condition and the doctors said they wanted to start with the amputation of his leg to treat his condition. He refused because he was starting to make an impact in the music industry and he didn't want anything to stop that," Mjamba said.

A few months later Tsekeleke went on to release one of his most popular songs to date, Fatty Boom Boom, and also made a mark for his impressive dance moves and energy on stage.

Mjamba said Tsekeleke would occasionally visit the doctor as the pain in his leg grew more and more difficult to live with, until he finally conceded to doctors' pleas for him to undergo amputation late last year.

"He always thought that he could beat it and in his desperation he was listening to people and getting hope in the promises of people who said they could heal him. Maybe he thought he could pray it all away but eventually it became so much, and he was so tired of it, that he agreed to have surgery (to amputate the leg)," Mjamba explained.

Just weeks after telling Sunday World that he would choose "death over having my leg amputated," Tsekeleke's concerned friends booked him into Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg for a procedure which saw his toes being amputated.

Thereafter Tsekeleke was in and out of hospital from January until May this year for procedures, until he was admitted to hospital permanently three months ago. 

"The nurses looked after him but when they could not we (his close friends and family) would be there to speak to him, clean his wounds and encourage him. He was such a loveable person and through all of this he didn't lose a single friend. Everyone wanted to be there with him and support him. They loved him and would always visit," Mjamba said.