Thousands of Maskandi music supporters have bid farewell to one of the giants of the music genre Sbongiseni Ngubane also known as ‘Mjikijelwa’.

He died last week from a lung infection at the age of 35.

Saying goodbye to their favourite musician Mjikijelwa, 20 year old Nzuzu Mbhele from Mpumalanga says he used his talent to attract different age groups into the maskandi genre. He says his music had a positive music.

Fellow supporters echoed the same sentiment. “Maskandi music is popular among many south Africans.”

Those in the entertainment industry believe more needs to be done to recognise this form of music.

Musician Ndlemnyama Mseleku says mjikijelwa was a talented. “He was a principled person who took care of his family,” a family member says.

There was also a call for unity among Maskandi musicians and supporters.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called on artists to behave themselves and make sure that they set a good example for the community.

He says Maskandi will only grow and get the recognition it deserves when musicians work together to encourage peace.

Mjikijelwa produced 38 albums as a solo artist and travelled to the US, Dubai and other African countries.

He also produced other artists under his label. He was nominated for various traditional music awards, including the SATMAs and AmaNtshontsho Awards; and performed at numerous prestigious traditional music festivals and events.

Mthethwa says the government is making sure that South African musicians get the recognition they deserve as they unite different people through music.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of the Umzinyathi District Municipality Petros Ngubane says the municipality will always support musicians from the district and make sure that they support their families.