The African National Congress (ANC) has learned with shock and sadness of the passing of our cultural legend and icon, Jonas Gwangwa at the age of 83.

This composer, arranger, producer and jazz trombonist belongs to a generation of revolutionary cultural activists who used their craft to advance the struggle for freedom, justice and democracy. For ten years, Ntate Gwangwa was musical director of the African National Congress’s (ANC) ensemble tour Amandla.

Ntate Gwangwa was one of the best cultural ambassadors of the country. He gained popularity in the US when he was featured in the Sound of Africa concert, among other his many cultural tours. The political environment of the 1960s forced him to relocate to the United States where he spent about fifteen years. Gwanga returned to South Africa in 1991 and continued to place his talent at the disposal of the nation.

Ntate Gwangwa was awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga in 2010 in recognition of his achievements as a cultural icon and for showing the world the wealth of creative genius that our nation possesses. In addition, he has won numerous awards for his music.

As a composer, he produced theme songs and sountracks for shows such as the soap Generations and the movie Othello.

The ANC sends its heartfelt condolences to Ntate Jonas Gwangwa’s family, friends, the progressive cultural community and the entire mass democratic movement. We hope they will find solace in the knowledge that the whole nation shares in their grief. We wish the strength and comfort in this difficult time.




Pule Mabe

National Spokesperson

071 623 4975


Posted in Media Statements
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