The “resurrection” of multi-award winning maskandi musician Khulekani Kwakhe “Mgqumeni” Mseleku has caused widespread confusion, with even close family members arguing about whether he has returned from the dead.
Mgqumeni, who apparently died in December 2009 after drinking a poisonous concoction he got from a traditional healer, returned to his home in Mquthu, near Dundee, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday last week.
Word of his return caused thousands of followers to flock – from as far away as Gauteng and the Free State – to his home, where the frail-looking muso was shown to the public for the first time yesterday.
“I am Mgqumeni. And I know that some of you might not believe, but yes, it’s true . it’s me,” he greeted his fans.
“I have been suffering a lot at the place where I was kept with zombies. It was hell there and I am so grateful that I was able to free myself and return to my family and you, my supporters. I promise to continue singing once I gather enough strength,” he said.
Mgqumeni claimed that he was not dead but had been kept with zombies in a place he cannot remember.
“I know there are some people who doubt that I am Mgqumeni. You must know that none can pretend to be someone he is not. I would like to thank Shembe for freeing me out of that place,” he said to a rousing applause.
While some were happy with his return, others were angry.
“We will go to the highest court in the land to prove that this man is not Mgqumeni. This is a fraud and we are not prepared to accept him. If he thinks he can fool us, he is messing around with the wrong people because we will not take this lying down,” said a relative who introduced himself as Bongani Mncube.
Mncube claimed to have grown up with Mgqumeni and knows him like the “palm of my hand”.
“It’s not him. I have no doubt about that. This man is a fraud, a bogus criminal who has well rehearsed,” he said.
Mgqumeni’s grandfather, Hlalalimanzi Khumalo, did not agree. He said the family was grateful that their lost son has returned home.
“At first I doubted it was he, but, as the time went on, I could see that indeed it was he and as a family we are excited,” he said.
“I wanted him to be displayed in public last week because I believed that, by that time, he would have recovered well, but due to the pressure we agreed to do it today [yesterday],” said Khumalo.
Police are investigating whether the man claiming to be Mgqumeni is indeed the musician.
Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said: “We have opened an inquiry and will be taking some samples to verify whether it is him or not.
“At this stage we have not done anything from our side and if there are fingerprints that have been taken, maybe it has been done privately,” said Naicker.
A DNA test to confirm the man’s identity is expected today.
If you could bring one musician back from the dead, who would it be?