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City of Johannesburg mourns the passing of Jonas Gwangwa

The Executive Mayor of the City Johannesburg, Cllr Geoffrey Makhubo, on behalf of the City, has expressed his deep condolences at the passing of renowned and accomplished Jazz musician Ntate Jonas Gwangwa.

Ntate Gwangwa passed away today, 23 January 2021, at the age of 83.

Ntate Gwangwa was bestowed with the Order of Ikhamanga in Gold for his exceptional contribution to music and the struggle for freedom in South Africa. His contribution to the liberation was immense and felt in the instrumental tunes he produced during the apartheid era.

“Ntate Jonas epitomized what it meant to turn every area of life into a site of struggle by using his enormous musical talents to tell the story of South Africa’s racism and oppression to the world”, said Mayor Makhubo

“We remember Ntate Jonas, along with Caiphus Semenya and departed legend, Hugh Masekela, as being part of the subversively named band, “Union of South Africa” in the early 1970s”, said Mayor Makhubo

The Executive Mayor had a planned visit to Ntate Gwagwa’s home in Johannesburg, unfortunately, he was ill on the day. “I went to visit him two weeks ago, and did not get to see him as he was not feeling well on the day. I had planned to have a cup of tea with him and honour this great citizen of the city and country at large”, added Mayor Makhubo

“We also recall that he spent ten years as a musical director of the African National Congress’s (ANC) ensemble tour Amandla, which used music as a weapon against the apartheid state. The greatest tribute we can pay him is to continue working for a better life for all South Africans because, as he put it in song, Freedom for some is freedom for none”, concluded Mayor Makhubo.


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