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.
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:
Jonas Gwanga ascends to our great orchestra of musical ancestors whose creative genius and dedication to the freedo… https://t.co/0rt3Toz0Or— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe) 1611408182.0
Oh maan! May this maestro Rest In Peace. The work he has done for this country is immeasurable! Rest In Peace ntate Jonas Gwangwa 💔 #Nzinga— #BamakoIsHere (@#BamakoIsHere) 1611409620.0
This one is personal. Thank you for the music, Ntate Jonas Gwangwa. #RIPJonasGwangwa https://t.co/Qfuk1cJft3— Lesego Rooibos ⚪️ (@Lesego Rooibos ⚪️) 1611409114.0
When 8pm was 8pm! This iconic Generations opening sequence was composed by uBab' Jonas Gwangwa. Thank you for the… https://t.co/OI8eXyUw4H— !nstro (@!nstro) 1611409807.0
So much loss. RIP Ntate Jonas Gwangwa. 🕊💔 https://t.co/kzL9jbMtoE— Asanda Sizani (@Asanda Sizani) 1611409135.0
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