Musician, songwriter and producer, Jonas Gwangwa has passed on at the age of 83.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his condolences to the musician’s family following his death.
“A giant of our revolutionary cultural movement and our democratic creative industries has been called to rest; the trombone that boomed with boldness and bravery, and equally warmed our hearts with mellow melody has lost its life force.
“Jonas Gwanga ascends to our great orchestra of musical ancestors whose creative genius and dedication to the freedom of all South Africans inspired millions in our country and mobilised the international community against the apartheid system,” said Ramaphosa.
A giant of our revolutionary cultural movement and our democratic creative industries has been called to rest; the trombone that boomed with boldness and bravery, and equally warmed our hearts with mellow melody has lost its life force.#RIPJonasGwangwa pic.twitter.com/hlg4PyKQl4
— Cyril Ramaphosa ???????? #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) January 23, 2021
The legendary musician has received Academy, Grammy, Bafta, Golden Globe and Anthony Asquith award nominations and won the Ivor Novello and Black Emmy awards.
Gwangwa was awarded The Order of Ikhamanga in Gold for his contribution to music and the struggle for freedom in South Africa in 2010.
“So intense and rousing were Jonas Gwangwa’s instrumental tunes, that the apartheid censorship machinery banned his records without bothering to check the lyrical content. The album was mostly instrumental but the revolutionary verve could not be mistaken: here was music inspired and fed by a people’s thirst for liberation.
“Gwangwa and many other musicians managed to sing down apartheid, as it were. In their music lay the stirring account of the struggle against racial oppression in South Africa. For every song, there was pain, for every tune there was joy and heartbreak as South Africans at home and abroad sought solace and encouragement,” said the presidency at the time.
Condolences have been pouring in:
— thabang350™ (@thabang350) January 23, 2021
— KeepTheFaith EP Out Now (@OskidoIBelieve) January 23, 2021
— ???????????????????????????????????????????? (@Nhlakanipho517) January 23, 2021
— Simphiwe Ntshingila (@djshluthu99) January 23, 2021
23 January will always be this dark day in the Music Industry….On this particular day we have lost yet another Legend…Oliver Mtukudzi and Hugh Masekela passed on ,on this particular day too. #RIPJonasGwangwa pic.twitter.com/dbQ1HSsTzK
— Sizwe (@mehlulisizwe) January 23, 2021
I and I suppose many others included this song in their wedding playlist. I for one had requested the DJ to play it after the ceremony when we depart from the chapel. Such a loss to South Africa as a whole. Robala ka kgotso Ntate Jonas Gwangwa #RIPJonasGwangwa pic.twitter.com/kJE3zzGG0T
— Prof (@Lebza24) January 23, 2021