Legendary South African musician Jonas Gwangwa, 83, dies

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Jonas Gwangwa
Jonas Gwangwa
Photo: Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images

Tributes have poured in for legendary South African musician Jonas Gwangwa, 83, after news of his death surfaced on Saturday.

Details surrounding his death have not yet been made public. 

In a special message shared on President Cyril Ramaphosa's Twitter page, Jonas was remembered as a "giant of our revolutionary cultural movement and our democratic creative industries."

"the trombone that boomed with boldness and bravery, and equally warmed our hearts with mellow melody has lost its life force," the message went on to say. 

Having spent over four decades in the industry, Jonas was known for using his music to aid in the struggle for freedom. 

Among his many accolades, he was also honoured with the Order of Ikhamanga in 2010. 

Along with George Fenton, he created the original score and theme for the iconic film Cry Freedom, which received multiple award nominations and took home trophies as well.

In a statement shared with the press, President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his sadness at the passing of Jonas. 

"The President's thoughts and prayers are with Mr Gwangwa's family, friends, colleagues, comrades and followers around South Africa, the continent and the world," the statement reads.

"Jonas Gwanga ascends to our great orchestra of musical ancestors whose creative genius and dedication to the freedom of all South Africans inspired millions in our country and mobilised the international community against the apartheid system," President Ramaphosa said. 

"As we mourn the loss of many precious lives around us, we pray also that the soul of Jonas Gwangwa will rest in peace."

 Tributes poured in for the legendary star on Twitter:

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24