South African Tamil Stalwart Passes Away

Thirupurasundarie GovenderThe passing away of Thirupurasundrie Govender has shocked and saddened the South African Indian community. The talented India-trained vocalist and Bharatanatyam dancer passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Dr Rajendran Thangavelu Govender describes the late Tamil cultural advocate as a remarkable daughter, mother and sister. As a linguist, singer and dancer she has made a valuable contribution in the promotion of the Tamil language and culture.

She matriculated with exceptional results enabling her to choose any field of study. Instead she opted to leave her family and all the comforts to pursue studies in the India where she studied the Tamil language and carnatic music and obtained an MA in Carnatic Music. But before she left the South African shores she graduated as a Bharatanatyam dancer.

On her return to South Africa she taught Tamil at various schools in the greater Chatsworth area. She also taught Hindustani and carnatic music privately as well at the Consulate of India. She was also an excellent speaker and conducted a number of traditional cultural programmes with a great deal of professionalism. She was meticulous and did not attempt any task without thorough planning and research.

If Thiru was a Programme Director you can be rest assured that you will be throughly entertained and educated at the same time. More recently she was a presenter on SA Tamil Radio, an online radio station.

As a mother and a single parent she made sure that her children were given the best education and a stable and comfortable home despite the many challenges. However in the last few years she fought a brave battle with cancer and today she finally succumbed to this illness and was released from the pain that she silently endured.

We pray that Thiru will now find eternal peace and an abundance of joy as she sings and dances in the heavens above. May the Divine Mother provide her family with the strength and fortitude to overcome this unbearable loss.

Gopinath Krishnamurthy Reflects On Thiru Whilst In India

Enclosing some pages from her ‘Katcheri Arangetram’ booklet from his library on ‘Durban.’  It is so sad to see the last page of the booklet has an advt on “Cancer care”…..Lord Knows ..why it was put there!

She was fondly called by all of his late father as THIRU. He used say ‘THIRU’ means wealth and she was ‘THIRU MAGAL’ who had a wealth of knowledge regarding music and dance. As far I know she is the only person in South Africa to have completed Bachelors and Masters in Music at the Annamalai University, Chidambaram, South India and her M.A. Music from the famous Madras University jointly.

Krishnamurthy recalls a friendship from her Annamalai university days during the 1990’s.  When she arrived in India to engage her Masters in Music at Chennai at Madras Varsity she stayed at a hostel near the University and their interaction increased during this period in 1990.

Her contribution to the development of Arts and Culture in South Africa is noteworthy.

Indha Seydhi Kehttu Migavum Varundhugirehn. En Aazhndha AnudhaabangaL. Thiru avargaLin aathmaa saanthi adaiya ellaam valla Siva Perumaanai VehNdik koLgirehn.

இந்த செய்தி கேட்டு மிகவும் வருந்துகிறேன். என் ஆழ்ந்த அனுதாபங்கள். Thiru. அவர்களின் ஆத்மா சாந்தி அடைய எல்லாம் வல்ல சிவ பெருமானை வேண்டிக் கொள்கிறேன்.


Tributes for the late Thirupurasundrie Govender continue to flood social media bearing mark to the impact she had on the greater South Indian community of South Africa.

The funeral of the late will take place on Wednesday 12th October at SCIDIFA Hall, Silverglen from 11am to 3pm thereafter proceeding to the Clare Estate Crematorium. Cremation at 5pm.


About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *