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Mbaqanga maestro David Masondo passes on

Constance van Niekerk in South Africa

It is amazing how Soul Brothers lead singer and co-founder the late David Mbuso Masondo has died twice! According to an article in one blog dated February 26 2008, David committed suicide in his “home in Soweto” “he was 56”.


David in fact passed away on the 5th of July at Netcare Garden City Hospital in Mayfair, Johannesburg. This was confirmed on the mbaqanga group’s Facebook page, “It is very sad to announce  that the main man, the anchor man, the lead singer of our band, has passed on today at the age of 67,” reads the post dated 5 July 2015 at 14:02.

The Soul Brothers was formed in 1974 by 5 members. Unfortunately,  4 of the 5 founding members are now late. The first passed on in an automobile accident in 1979. In 1984, Zenzele Israel Mchunu passed away, then in 1988 Themba American Zulu passed away and now David has gone to join them. Moses Ngwenya the band’s keyboardist is the only surviving member.

Last month, the Mbaqanga Kings announced that they were working on a new album, “the 40th Anniversary album” which included a collaboration with the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Little did they know that one of them would embark on an astral journey during the during the recording of the album.


In an impassioned eulogy to the Soul Brothers in 1995, Folk Roots reviewer Rick Sanders wrote, “Impossible not to feel the spirit raised by that loping, thumping rhythm,  the cascades of bright guitar, the sweetest saxes in the world, vocals to melt any granite heart….”


Some of the more than 30 recorded albums include Isigqebhezana, Amaphutha, Thandaza,Umshado, Ugruva Nobani? Just to mention a few.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday the 9th at 2pm at Mpumalanga College in Hammersdale-KZN, David’s hometown.

On the same day in Johannesburg at 12 noon, another memorial will take place at Museum Afrika in New town next to Market Theatre.

David’s funeral will take place at Hammersdale Stadium in KZN on Sunday 12 July at 9am.

Rest in Peace David, Mbaqanga King.


About Constance van Niekerk

Constance van Niekerk is a Zimbabwean creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. Constance is the author of Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection found in all Amazon Kindle Stores. She is the Digital Editor of Zimonline News and Lekoa FM (www.lekoafm.co.za). She currently lives in South Africa with her family. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Visit her second blog at http://www.afriquebeat.com

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