Failure to honour late artist, Nkululeko Ludonga, slated

2016-11-03 06:00
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I wish to pay tribute to Nkululeko Ludonga, a member of Amampondo Marimba band from Langa.

I give high regard and my salute to the journey undertaken by Amampondo.

They have played in all continents, in about more than 70 countries around the world.

Their mission has not been about music only, as they had to be the voice and representation of the struggle, by telling direct stories of our suffering.

I believe that they were not only musicians or ambassadors of South Africa, but a symbol of Africa as a continent.

I was fortunate to attend one of their live shows at Eyethu Cinema in Dube, Soweto, in1981.

I was doing Std 7(Grade 9) at Dr Vilakazi High School in Zola.

I remember clearly that after finishing their set, the audience would not allow them to leave the stage.

They were so captivated. Eventually this group shared the stage with many greats the likes of Makeba, Bra Hugh, Juluka and many others.

Amampondo have also featured in events hosted by Bishop Tutu, and at the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Olympics in 2000.

In a nutshell, this group played music for more than two decades. To me that is a remarkable contribution and it deserves more than just a mere recognition.

Nkululeko Ludonga, a percussionist, did not get the send-off he deserved when the news of his passing away came to our attention.

There was little or no coverage shown on SABC to spread the news about the first member of Amampondo to pass away as it has done to other members of Juluka or Black Mambas.

A lot of veterans have been honoured and given prestigious awards.

I know little about the appreciation given to Amampondo and its members.

I ask myself, is it because the group is not from Jo’burg? Or is it because we are not connected in Langa? What qualifies artists to become celebrities? What criteria is used to give status to artists?

People in the world must know that we, the community of Langa are proud of our artists and I compliment all the local artists that have honoured and performed during the funeral of Nkululeko. Im disappointed by the response from the national veterans in the music industry for not showing up at such a highly regarded burial.

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