Second tragedy hits late musician Feleti Kaufusi’s family after wife dead

    Mate 'a Feleti Kaufusi ko e tangata hiva mo mūsika ia 'a Tonga 'i he 'aho 10 'o Tīsema' pea toe mate atu mo hono uaifi' Losaline Lupe Kaufusi 'i he 'aho 23 'o Tīsema ni' ai pē.

    The wife of renowned Tongan singer and composer Feleti Kaufusi has died after about two weeks following his death on December 10.

    A funeral service will be held for her in Tongatapu on January 7.

    Losaline Lupe Kaufusi was a public health officer at Tonga’s Ministry of Health.

    She died last Sunday, December 23. The cause of her death has yet to be officially released.

    She is survived by two children she bore with Feleti.

    It is understood Feleti had a total of 10 children, including the offspring of a previous marriage.

    Call for help

    The double tragedy has left local musicians and business community reeling.

    Business man Faka’osi Maama was devastated.

    He quoted on Facebook a lament by the couple’s son Semisi which said: “…mo li’aki pehe’i mai pe ‘e kimoua mautolu….”.

    This translates into English as: “You abandoned us like that.”

    Maama has asked his 5000 friends on Facebook to help him create a trust fund to raise funds to help Kaufusi’s children.

    Maama’s post received 1400 reactions, 166 comments and 157 shares. 

    In response, the Director of Fly Niu Airline, ‘Atu Finau, told Maama to let him know when the Trust was set up.

    Musical talent

    Feleti’s musical talent has kept his followers’ interests in his music and songs alive and kicking even after his death.

    Many shared some of the numerous video clips in which he was featured singing either with his electric band or in acoustic performances during kava social sessions. 

    The emergence of his musical talents can be traced back to early 1980s when he played bass guitar for the ‘Iongi Brothers.

    Feleti, 55, later established his own electric band with his four young brothers in the late 1980s. They performed as the Kaufusi Brothers.

    They released more than a dozen albums. His songs included ‘Tangitangi.’

    All his compositions were in Tongan and he either originated some of his music or rearranged  popular western tunes with his own lyrics.

    He played a key role in supporting national entertainment and fundraising activities which required music to be played. His band toured New Zealand, Australia and Hawai’i regularly.

    Feleti’s cause of death was not known, but his wife reportedly said he appeared exhausted after being getting ready for a performance the day before he died.

    The main points

    • The wife of renowned Tongan singer and composer Feleti Kaufusi has died after about two weeks following his death on December 10.
    • A funeral service will be held for her in Tongatapu on January 7.
    • Losaline Lupe Kaufusi was a public health officer at Tonga’s Ministry of Health.

    For more information

    ‘Ofa’anga – Feleti Kaufusi

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