Thabiso ‘Thasman’ Tsotetsi on HHP's untimely death: I’m going to miss his honesty

The last time Thasman saw HHP they had a lengthy debate because HHP planned to change his stage name to Jabba X

26 October 2018 - 10:59 By Chrizelda Kekana
HHP and Thabiso 'Thasman' Tsotetsi were friends for over two decades.
HHP and Thabiso 'Thasman' Tsotetsi were friends for over two decades.
Image: Instagram/Jabba1/YouTube/Boikhutso Ntsoko

HHP's longtime friend and producer Thabiso ‘Thasman’ Tsotetsi struggled to fight back tears as he spoke to TshisaLIVE outside HHP's house about their two-decade friendship. 

HHP died on Wednesday, leaving his family, friends and fans reeling in devastation.

“I’m going to miss his honesty. His friendship. I think he was a very motivational somebody, a very spiritual somebody. Jabba wanted everybody to succeed like he had. He wanted to lift up everyone the best way he could. He wanted to assist everybody with almost everything, it didn’t matter what it was."

It's a day after HHP had died and the mood was very sombre in the quiet suburb of Randpark Ridge where HHP’s house is located.

After asking to TshisaLIVE to please wait for him a couple of times as he greeted people  who came to pay their respects to the Tsambo family, Thasman opened up the profound loss he was feeling as he went about helping to organise a dignified send off for HHP.

“I’m trying to cope to be honest with you. I’m trying to put on my smile, be as strong as possible and be as courageous as possible for the family and his friends.”

I’m trying to cope to be honest with you. I’m trying to put on my smile, be as strong as possible and be as courageous as possible for the family and his friends.

Asked to recall the fondest memories of the times he’d shared with Jabba, Thasman’s face immediately lit up as if remembering the good times came with the feeling of joy he had experienced with Jabba at the time.

He spoke about the day Jabba's hit song Harambe was born.

“A memory I remember now though was when he was shooting. They said to me, Thaso just play something so that Jabba can freestyle. I pressed the keys and he said, ‘yeah Thaso I like that!’ His freestyle was what later became Harambe. We recorded it right there on the spot and it literally took us about 15 minutes to complete the whole thing. While Take 5 was shooting the whole thing, we did the song and completed it. I was also shocked by the whole thing; I kept going ‘Yoh! Jabba!’”

Thasman said no matter how much time he spent with Jabba he never stopped being amazed by how music spoke to him and how his lyrics came to him. He said in his eyes Jabba was a “genius” of music.

Thasman said he and Jabba met when he was still in school in 1996. 

I asked him never to forget HHP because he was the one people knew and loved…

“He sang... by the time I met him, he was already a celebrity via Verbal Assassins. They had a group where they used to sing, I think it was a group of four. For us, it was a matter of birds of the feather… when you have certain vibrations or certain energy that just connects, you can’t even explain it, it was just a natural fit.”

After over 20 years of friendship Jabba's death has left a gaping hole. He told TshisaLIVE that the last conversation they had was a debate because Jabba was contemplating changing his stage name completely from HHP to Jabba X.

“The last time I saw Jabba, we were debating. He wanted to switch from HHP to Jabba X… I was saying, ‘Look Jabba, it’s going to take you 20 years to build Jabba X because the past 20 years belong to HHP and maybe just a little bit of Jabba. I asked him never to forget HHP because he was the one people knew and loved… It was a good debate and after hearing each other out, we decided that we would find a way for the two to co-exist.”

Facing a future without either HHP or Jabba X, Thasman just has to hold on to the memories and the legacy of his dear friend. Helplessly he admits that that’s the only thing he can do. 

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