Nathi Mthethwa pays tribute to music legend Banza Kgasoane
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Saturday paid tribute to the late legendary musician Lehlara Banza Samson Kgasoane‚ saying his life’s work demonstrated an extraordinary ability to use his musical talents and gifts to enrich the lives of others.
Kgasoane‚ lead trumpeter in Mango Groove and the founder of the Alexandra Brass Band‚ died on December 9 at the age of 65.
“When the history book is written of all those outstanding individuals who led exemplary lives and used all their physical‚ mental and creative energies to take their art to the world‚ then a special place shall be allotted to the late Banza Kgasoane‚” Mthethwa said.
He added that coming from a musical family‚ Kgasoane must have grown up with a sense of rootedness in the musical culture of his times‚ with a firm sense of self-belief and a willingness to discover and learn something new.
“Yet this was a world of segregation and apartheid and the task of the artist would be to remind those around him of their creativity‚ that an act of culture is also an act of resistance and that art humanizes us.
“It is the mark of a true artist that when we look back at his life‚ we see perseverance‚ commitment and focus‚ a man who kept his trumpet close at hand and whose playing came from the heart.
“It is a testimony to his own sense of art as part of building a community that he was not content to travel the world‚ but that he also wanted to transform the lives of those around him.
“As the lead trumpeter in Mango Groove and as the founder of the Alexandra Brass Band‚ his contribution has been immense‚” Mthethwa said.
“We salute him as a man of culture‚ a maker of music and a family man - a husband‚ a father‚ a creative soul‚ without which our lives would have been poorer‚” the minister added.