KZN sings goodbye to its music mentor

2015-07-20 08:51

MUSICIAN and Pietermaritzburg Choral Society founder Dr Joshua Radebe was remembered fondly by South Africans at his funeral at Pietermaritzburg’s YMCA Hall on Saturday.

News of the 79-year-old’s death from a heart attack last Monday was greeted with great sadness from South Africans last week.

National Higher Education minister and nephew to the renowned musician Blade Nzimande expressed his deep sadness at his uncle’s passing through a statement that was released on Monday and read at Radebe’s funeral.

“For many years Dr Radebe was a shining light and inspiration to young and old South Africans not only as a teacher, but more especially for his immeasurable contribution to the promotion of arts and culture in the form of his dedication to choral music.

“We recall when he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the then University of Natal for his contribution to the arts in the province.

“He was the founder of the Pietermaritzburg Choral Society, which he took to great heights by participating in — and winning — several choral competitions, especially at National Eisteddfod level.”

Nzimande said in his statement that he remembered Radebe as quiet, soft-spoken and a person who was always smiling.

“He remained humble even with all the recognition and accolades he received during his lifetime.

“May his soul rest in peace. Lala ngokuthula Malume. Bhungane, Makhulukhulu.”

KZN Department of Arts and Culture spokesperson Lethukuthula Mtshali said Radebe “played a huge role in uplifting choirs in and around his district by giving them an opportunity to showcase their talent”.

“Dr Radebe will be remembered most for his love for music and mentorship,” she said.

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