Renowned PMB choral master dies

2015-07-23 06:00
PHOTO: file

Renowned Pietermaritzburg choir master Dr Joshua Radebe who died from a heart attack on Monday. He will be buried this Saturday after a funeral service at the YMCA in Scottsville.

PHOTO: file Renowned Pietermaritzburg choir master Dr Joshua Radebe who died from a heart attack on Monday. He will be buried this Saturday after a funeral service at the YMCA in Scottsville.

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THE choral music fraternity is mourning the death of renowned Pietermaritzburg choir master and teacher Dr Joshua Meyiwa Radebe who had a fatal heart attack on Monday night.

Born in Umzimkulu’s Entembeni area to the late Sibenteni Zulu and Khoyoyo Radebe 79 years ago, Radebe had become a household name in the music fraternity with many accolades to his name. At the time of his death, he had been living at his house in Imbali Unit 13.

His eldest son Andile said the family is still shocked by his death as his father had just delivered a thank you speech at their late mother Veronica’s remembrance day on Saturday.

“On Saturday we had a remembrance day for our late mother and our father was in good health. When he presented his speech, thanking everyone, little did we know that it was for the last time. “He had a heart attack on Sunday evening and was admitted to hospital and put on life support, but died on Monday night.”

Growing up in a musical family he would entertain at family functions, through the musical guidance from cellist Nigel Fish, Bhungane started conducting school choirs at Mariah Memorial in 1966.

He later taught at Sobantu Secondary School where he founded a choir which he used to establish the Pietermaritzburg Choral Society in 1973. His choir had been national champions for five consecutive years in the Old Mutual National Choir Festival. In 2003 he was honoured with a Professor Khabi Mngoma award for his contribution to choral music. Last year he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in the National Choral Music Awards (Nacma).

Andile said his father had stopped conducting PMB Choral Society due to ill health and was focusing on assisting school choirs.

Radebe leaves behind five children, Andile, Vuyi, Dumisa, Ndumiso and Mpume, 13 grandchildren and two great-grand children. His son said he will be remembered for his loving nature and as a quiet and straightforward person.

He will be laid to rest on Saturday after a funeral service at YMCA in Scottsville

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