South African insurance company Hollard has come to the rescue of legendary South African musician Mama Madosini who collapsed, whilst on tour in France, and desperately needed to return home for medical treatment.
The 76-year-old’s plight had caught the attention of many South Africans who begged Hollard to help her, despite the fact the musician – whose full name is Madosini Latozi Mpahleni – allegedly knew about her medical condition before the trip and did not declare it.
Even former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela leant her voice, tweeting: “What happened to #Ubuntu @Hollard. What should now happen to 76 year old #MamaMadosini?”
Hollard said early yesterday evening: “We’re committed to fairness for all our policyholders. We do understand Mama Madosini’s situation and we’re looking at ways to help her.”
An hour later the company announced: “Thanks everyone for your concern for Mama Madosini. We’re bringing her back to Mzansi so she can get treatment and be with her loved ones.”
Madosini had been hospitalised in Annecy, France for the past 10 days.
Both the departments of Arts and Culture, and Foreign Affairs (DIRCO) also came under fire for not assisting the elderly Madosini with medical repatriation to return home.
A musician Pedro Espi-Sanchis, who was travelling with Madosini on a tour of France and Switzerland, said he tried everyone – and that the SA Ambassador said they were unable to assist. (DIRCO’s ‘Travel Smart’ guidelines on how they can assist South Africans abroad do clearly say that they cannot pay any bills or make travel arrangements for travellers.)
According to SA music historian Robert Trunz, Espi-Sanchis said Madosini, known as the Queen Mother of traditional Xhosa music, had two asthma attacks which were compounded by a faulty valve in her heart, a “condition which was found by the doctors here. Both conditions have caused an accumulation of fluid in Madosini’s lungs.”
Espi-Sanchis pointed out that it was not a pre-existing condition. “This was something that was never diagnosed before. Her GP of 10 years had only treated her for high blood pressure and asthma.”
He said her repatriation had to be medical because she needed supervision, and could not travel alone.
Espi-Sanchis had stayed with Madosini to translate for her as she doesn’t speak English or French. He reported a couple of days ago that Madosini was “in very good spirits and very happy with the excellent treatment she is receiving”.
Madosini has now been discharged, Hollard will reportedly pay the French hospital bill, and the living legend is on her way home.