Mbaqanga maestro David Masondo’s final goodbye

July 10, 2015 Music , MUSIC/FILM/TV , OPINION/NEWS




Constance van Niekerk

It is amazing how Soul Brothers lead singer and co-founder the late David Mbuso Masondo has died twice! According to an article in one blog dated February 26 2008, David committed suicide in his “home in Soweto” “he was 56”.

David in fact passed away on the 5th of July at Netcare Garden City Hospital in Mayfair, Johannesburg. This was confirmed on the mbaqanga group’s Facebook page: “It is very sad to announce that the main man, the anchor man, the lead singer of our band, has passed on today at the age of 67,” reads the post.

The Soul Brothers were formed in 1974 by five members. Unfortunately, four of the five founding members have now passed away. The first died in an automobile accident in 1979. In 1984, Zenzele Israel Mchunu passed away, then in 1988 Themba American Zulu passed away and now David has gone to join them. Moses Ngwenya, the band’s keyboardist is the only surviving member.

Last month, the Mbaqanga Kings announced that they were working on a new album, ‘The 40th Anniversary album’ which included a collaboration with the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Little did they know that one of them would embark on an astral journey during the during the recording of the album.


Soul Brothers last month working on their new album

Soul Brothers last month working on their new album


In an impassioned eulogy to the Soul Brothers in 1995, Folk Roots reviewer Rick Sanders wrote, “Impossible not to feel the spirit raised by that loping, thumping rhythm, the cascades of bright guitar, the sweetest saxes in the world, vocals to melt any granite heart….”

Some of the more than 30 recorded albums include ‘Isigqebhezana’, ‘Amaphutha’, ‘Thandaza’, ‘Umshado’, ‘Ugruva Nobani?’, just to mention a few.




A memorial service was held yesterday at Mpumalanga College in Hammersdale-KZN, David’s hometown. On the same day in Johannesburg at 12 noon, another memorial took place at Museum Afrika in New town.

David’s funeral will take place at Hammersdale Stadium in KZN on Sunday 12 July at 9am.


Rest in Peace David, Mbaqanga King.







Constance van Niekerk

Constance van Niekerk is a South-African based Zimbabwean-born freelance music critic, poet, photographer, educator, creative writer and blogger par excellence. She has written for The Southern Times Newspaper of Namibia as well as Zimbabwe’s foremost daily, The Herald, blogging also on Up Close and Personal with Zim Artists since 2012. Early in 2014 Constance rebranded the blog to L’Afrique Beat to reflect the interests the whole of Africa and create a continental flavour. L’ Afrique Beat features well researched and informative articles on Africa’s musical icons, entertainment, as well as the lifestyle issues of Africa.


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