Photo by Veli Nhlapo/Sowetan/Gallo Images/Getty Images

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA SEPTEMBER 30: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT): Legendary musician Jonas Gwangwa performs during the 20th the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival at the Sandton Convention Centre on September 30, 2017 in Sandton, South Africa. Debutant soloist, Zoe Madiga was the highlight of the show when she dazzled the audience with her performance.

South Africa Mourns Passing of Jazz Legend Jonas Gwangwa

South Africans are paying tribute to Oscar-nominated Jonas Gwangwa following the jazz artist's passing this past weekend.

Tributes have been pouring in for jazz musician Jonas Gwangwa after he passed away this past Saturday. South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, paid tribute to Gwangwa via the presidential Twitter account. The passing of the 83-year-old jazz veteran has led to a flurry of tributes from South Africans. Gwangwa was a legendary trombonist and anti-Apartheid icon known for hit songs "Morwa" which was a staple played at many a social event. The musician was Oscar-nominated, together with George Fenton, for their composition of the original score and theme song for the internationally recognised South African film Cry Freedom.


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According to Al Jazeera, the exact details of Gwangwa's death are still unknown. Coincidentally, Gwanga's death falls on the anniversary of fellow late musical giants Hugh Masekela and Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi who died in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The trio of musicians are admittedly revered for their great contributions to not only Southern African jazz and traditional music but leading the charge on social transformation.

Gwangwa was born on the 19th of October in 1937. He lived in exile following the Apartheid government's ban on jazz music and live performances. He was reportedly one of the featured artists in the Sound of Africa concert at Carnegie Hall in 1965 which also saw performances from Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Letta Mbulu. Gwangwa—received the Order of Ikhamanga Gold in 2010South Africa's highest national award for arts and culture. He later returned to South Africa in 1991.

Here are some of the tributes shared on social media below:

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