R+B star Tyrese was so moved by the life of a 125-year-old Namibian grandmother, he paid more than $4,000 (GBP2,222) for her funeral - and wrote a song in her honour.

The 25-year-old singer, in Africa for the first time to star in a remake of the 1965 film Flight Of The Phoenix alongside Dennis Quaid, heard about ANNA VISSER - dubbed "Namibia's oldest granny" - from local press reports.

He says, "My immediate thought was, 'There are five of my lifetimes that she has been around.' I wish she could have let me in on some of her stories before she passed away."

When Tyrese heard Visser's family couldn't afford to pay for her funeral - which took place on Saturday (17JAN04) - he gave them $4,250 (GBP2,361) to buy three cows and 10 goats to feed the mourners and to buy the most expensive headstone they could find.

Her intriguing story inspired Tyrese to write the song CHAPTER 126, about Africa's quest for freedom, with fellow cast member and former Onyx rapper Sticky Fingaz.

Yesterday (19JAN04), Tyrese played the song for cast and crew members on his car stereo, but says he's unsure whether he will release it commercially.

20/01/2004 09:49