KZN maskandi legend dies in hospital

2010-04-08 00:00

ANOTHER maskandi music legend has fallen.

Bhekumuzi Luthuli (49), popularly known as Umfo KaMolo, died in a Durban hospital yesterday after being ill for some time. He had been in hospital since mid-March after suffering a stroke.

He will remembered most for mesmerising audiences throughout the country with his guitar skills, husky voice and great tunes Impempe and Gazi lami and many others.

His death comes on the heels of two other shocking deaths this year. Mqumeni and Bongekile Ngobese, formerly with the group Izingane Zoma, also passed away.

Maskandi artists yesterday expressed shock at Luthuli’s death. ­

Mtshengiseni Gcwensa of Amageza Amahle said Luthuli’s death is a great loss to the music industry.

He said that although he had spoken to him when he was admitted to hospital and found him to be in a grave condition, he was still taken by surprise at the news.

“All I am seeing is that the music industry is dying, and I am also very fearful as I have also been unwell.”

Gcwensa, who described Luthuli as a humble man, said all his family and friends should take comfort in knowing that he had left his mark on the music industry.

Thokozani Langa, an artist who in the past has been involved in verbal skirmishes with Luthuli, said he was saddened at the news. He said he owed his blossoming career to Luthuli.

“The reason I am so good at maskandi music is because of him. He propelled me to this level and I am very sad to learn of his death,” said Langa.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation MEC, Weziwe Thusi, said Luthuli’s death is a great loss to the province.

She described him as “a committed composer, guitarist and singer who respected our cultural heritage and never strayed from traditional music”.

“Bhekumuzi’s name had become synonymous with traditional music. We will always remember him as a social commentator whose music entertained, and he also raised awareness about important issues in our community.”

“His death is a huge loss to music in our country, and we will forever remember his contribution.”

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