Legendary Xhosa musician, Dr. Latozi 'Madosini' Mpahleni, dies at 79

Tributes continue to pour in for legendary Xhosa musician, Dr. Latozi Mpahleni.

SCREENSHOT of Dr Latozi Madosini Mpahleni at Bush Radio

Madosini, as she was affectionately known, earned many accolades during her career, including the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arts and Culture Trust. She’s described as a world icon, and used her talent to bring hope through plays on isiXhosa traditional instruments like the uhadi, mhrubhe and isitolotolo.

Her family confirmed in a statement that the 79-year-old died on Friday in Mthatha after a long illness.

"Dr Latozi Madosini Mpahleni passed on, on December 23, 2022 at St Mary’s Hospital in Mthatha after a relatively long illness. Having survived heart attack whilst she was in a tour in France in 2019, as well as two Covid 19 attacks, her health status could not be back to its normalcy, as a result from time to time she was admitted to hospital. Her last admission was at St Mary’s Hospital on the 3rd December 2022 where she subsequently succumbed at 16:15."

Throughout her career, she collaborated with many big name musicians, including Thandiswa Mazwai, Gilberto Gil, Dizu Plaaitjies, Mzwandile Qotoyi, Jonny Blundell, Lulu Plaitjies and Pedro Espi-Sanchis.

Her most recent performance was at the Ingoduko concert at the Artscape theatre on 29 September - 1 October 2022. The concert featured indigenous, contemporary, and international artistic works. It aimed at archiving, inspiring, and promoting holistic documentation of music from different cultures for the younger generation provided patrons with an insight into indigenous music that represents some of the earliest roots of jazz in Africa.

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) sent their condolences to the family of the musician.

“Samro is saddened by the passing of Dr Latozi Madosini Mpahleni, one of the last practising music guardians of traditional Xhosa culture. She was unsurpassed in the making & playing of the Uhadi, Umrhubhe & Isitolotolo. Condolences to her family, friends & industry colleagues.”

The Western Cape’s Cultural Affairs & Sport MEC, Anroux Marais, said she is saddened by the passing.

‘’Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Madonsini's family, loved ones and friends. Madonsini's legendary work and selfless commitment to the arts and culture sector through her music ensured that her legacy will live on long after her passing.’’


Done By: Mitchum George


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