- Legendary trombonist, Jonas Gwangwa, will be honoured for his contribution to SA music by the South African Afro Music Awards later this month
- The renowned muso has received many awards, including international ones, but being recognised in his home country means a lot
- The organisers wanted to honour the veteran musician while he was still alive
Mzansi veteran trombonist, Jonas Gwangwa, will be honoured for his contribution to the growth of South African music.
The 81-year old will be honoured by the South African Afro Music Awards (Saafma) at the Wits Great Hall, Johannesburg on 19 October.
The celebration of Gwangwa’s music career began at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz in Sandton at the weekend, where his albums, awards and articles written about his career were placed on display.
According to Sowetanlive, Gwangwa, who went into exile and made his name while performing in the US, will be honoured alongside the late Jabu Khanyile and Stompie Mayi.
Saafma founder, China Mpololo, said they wanted to honour Gwangwa while he was still alive for his contribution to the growth of local music. The organisers chose singer and composer Brenda Mntambo to perform on the day to honour the renowned muso.
The organisers initially wanted Gwangwa to perform on his big day, but changed their minds when they found out that the legendary trombonist is recovering after being recently troubled by ill-health.
“We realised that many legends get honoured when they have actually passed on. People like Bra Jonas and Caiphus Semenye deserve to be celebrated and their work must be documented by local institutions,” said Mpololo.
“If we don’t do that, the younger generation will never know the role that these icons played in the struggle and the music industry.”
Gwangwa’s son, Mojalefa, said the awards meant the world for his family.
“My dad has received numerous awards from outside the country before and he appreciated that. But all the awards that he gets at home are even more special to him. It is pleasing for the family to see him being recognised for the role he played in the music industry,” said Mojalefa.
“When we were younger, we always thought dad was making noise whenever he was playing his piano at our back room in Botswana. We actually did not know that he was creating a legacy.”
Mojalefa said his father met the New Orleans-born jazz singer, Wynton Marsalis, and spoke about a possible collaboration.
Meanwhile, about two weeks ago, Briefly.co.za reported that Mzansi rapper, AKA, had scooped another award, breaking a record in history of SA hip-hop by receiving one of the most prestigious of them, the Pan African Artist of the Year award, in Namibia.
Earlier this month, Briefly.co.za learnt that AKA found himself in an unfortunate predicament when Nigerians called him out for being xenophobic. But at the time, Supa Mega was travelling around Africa preaching one African love for all. He also stopped in Namibia, where he holds a massive fanbase as well. Namibians showered Bhova with love when they honoured him with the Pan African Artist of the Year award for 2019.
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