PRIZE: Mangena Mayekiso hands over an award in honour of Thanduxolo Ngqobe. Picture: Manzi Vabaza
Two of the most prominent choral composers to come from the province were honoured during the Sing Africa Sing Concert at Orient Theatre in East London on Saturday afternoon.
The choral work of the late Christian Thanduxolo Ngqobe – and Bongani Cola – were celebrated through songs by various choral groups from the province.
Ngqobe composed two compilations of music that include songs like Makhe sijonge i-RDP, Phantsi ngobusela, Masimanyane maKrestu and Amandl’omthandazo. Masimanyane maKrestu was a prescribed African piece sang by high school pupils throughout the country in 2001. He hailed from Lusikisiki and died in March 2007.
Cola’s choral highlights include compositions like Nantso ke Mandela that he composed in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s release. His other songs include Bayethe ma-Afrika, Afrika and Ingoduko and the song he composed shortly before his death which was ironically titled, ‘Sekwanele’(meaning enough). Cola died in October 2000.
Ukhamba Communications, a leading choral music production company partnered with the Eastern Cape Choral Music Association to honour the two choral icons.
Ukhamba’s Sibonisile Mpofu said Ngqobe and Cola’s contributions to choral music was affirmed by their popularity. “The two men contributed a lot to choral music across the country and that is why we decided to honour them,” said Mpofu.
The provincial department of sport, recreation, arts and culture has hailed the project as a strong contributor to the promotion of social cohesion and preservation of heritage.
“Choral composers provide a legacy that continues for centuries and we are very proud, as a province, to have produced such leading composers in our province,” said Naledi Nkula, general manager for cultural affairs.
Choirs that performed on Saturday included Port Elizabeth’s Mathews Singers, Transnet Port Terminal Choir, Queenstown’s Siyaphakama Adult Choir, King William’s Town’s Zwelitsha Adult Choir and Mthatha’s Modern Artists Vocal Association.