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Jonas Gwangwa Biography – Jonas Gwangwa Wiki
Jonas Gwangwa (born Jonas Mosa Gwangwa) was a South African Jazz musician, songwriter, and producer. A product of the turbulent but musically significant 1950s, Gwangwa emerged from the humble environs of Orlando East in Soweto. He delighted audiences in Sophiatown until it became illegal for black people to congregate and South African musicians were jailed merely for practising their craft. In spite of the restrictions, he established and played with virtually every important band of the era, and such icons as Kippie Moeketsi, Abdullah Ibrahim, Johnny Gertze and Makhaya Ntshoko. Gwangwa has also been a compatriot of famous musicians, including Ahmad Jamal, Herb Alpert, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Caiphus Semenya.
His lifework crystallised when he served as composer, arranger and musical director of the Amandla Cultural Ensemble, the liberation movement’s group – an impassioned chronicle of the role of music as a means of protest and survival through more than 40 years of struggle against apartheid.
With George Fenton, Gwangwa created the original score and theme song for the much heralded Richard Attenborough film, Cry Freedom, which received Academy, Grammy, Bafta, Golden Globe and Anthony Asquith Award nominations and won the Ivor Novello and Black Emmy awards.
In 1995, Gwangwa was given a meritorious award from then-President Nelson Mandela. In 2010, he received the Order of Ikhamanga in Gold from President Cyril Ramaphosa for his exceptional contribution to music and the struggle for freedom in South Africa.
Jonas Gwangwa Age
He was born on 10 October 1937, in Orlando East, Soweto, South Africa. He died on 23 January 2021. He was 83 years old.
Jonas Gwangwa Wife
Jonas Gwangwa was married to his wife, Violet Molebatsi Gwangwa, who passed away on 6 January 2021.
Jonas Gwangwa Children
He had six children, 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Jonas Gwangwa Family
He lived in Joburg with his wife, Violet Molebatsi Gwangwa, and had six children, 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Jonas Gwangwa Death
He passed away on 23 January 2021, at the age of 83. President Cyril Ramaphosa paid tribute to Gwangwa in a statement, saying: “A giant of our revolutionary cultural movement and our democratic creative industries has been called to rest; the trombone that boomed with boldness and bravery, and equally warmed our hearts with mellow melody has lost its life force.
“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. In our hour of mourning the loss of many precious lives around us, we pray also that the soul of Jonas Gwangwa will rest in peace.”
Jonas Gwangwa Cause of Death
Jonas Gwangwa’s cause of death was not revealed.