Gwangwa died on Saturday at the age of 83.
Coincidentally, another South African musical giant Hugh Masekela and Zimbabwean music legend Oliver Mutukudzi died on the same day in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
He was an Esteemed Member of the Order of Ikhamanga and is a globally recognised and awarded composer, arranger, producer and jazz trombonist.
Remebering Joans Gwangwa with Minster Nathi Mthethwa:
His passing comes more than two weeks after he lost his wife, mam’Violet.
Tladi says Gwangwa was not only a family man, but was also a man of the people.
“Bra Jonas was not only a family man, but also a man of the people and his band was like family, and all of us promoters; he loved everybody. He was the kindest of all musicians. And he was one of the best composers the country has ever seen. His arrangements were unequalled.
Peter Tladi pays tribute to Jonas Gwangwa:
Humble and upright
Prince Lengoasa, who used to work with Gwangwa, says one is now afraid of the 23 January.
“One is now afraid of the 23rd of January of any year thinking about how it robs us of great legends of this business. I’ve known Jonas since we came back from exile and we worked with him as his backing band. He is a father, not like a father, but a father to me. I remember when I got married, he was the only principal musician that I had worked with who came to my wedding…It is a sad day to lose Ntate Gwangwa so soon after his wife passed on.”
Lengoasa says he learned humility from Gwangwa.
“The one most important lesson that I will in my heart is that he was a humble man and humility is one of the things that help us in life to further and further. He was a very humble man and he was an upstanding man.”
Lengoasa says it is sad that he might not get the opportunity to bid Gwangwa farewell due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Prince Lengoasa pays tribute to Jonas Gwangwa:
South African sculptor, poet, writer, and academic Professor Pikita Ntuli says Gwangwa played an important role during exile.
“The role that Jonas in donating money to help educate and to pay their rent…When massacres were taking place in the country, they were the people who used their music through the ant-apartheid movement that had dominated the world at the time, to highlight the plight that we were confronted with during that time,” says Ntuli.
Professor Pitika Ntuli pays tribute to Jonas Gwangwa: