Choral music icon and conductor, professor Mzilikazi Khumalo has died. Khumalo died early Tuesday morning day after his 89th birthday.
Professor Khumalo’s death was verified by a close relative, who stated that the respected classical music conductor and composer had been ill for some time.
He was a member of the committee that combined Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika prayer with Die Stem to produce South Africa’s post-apartheid national anthem.
The Commission appointed Khumalo to perform their composition before Congress for approval. According to Richard Cock, a prominent classical music conductor who also served on the committee, he received a standing ovation.
In 1959, he wrote his debut song, Mangificwa Ukufa, which remained popular until the late 1990s. Since then, he has created choral songs such as Ushaka ka Senzagakhona, Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu, Ugqozi, and Ibhange Lama Africa, among others.
Khumalo was born on June 20, 1932 and his parents were in the Salvation Army ministries.
Composer, conductor, teacher and African choral music aficionado. A baobab has fallen. Rest in peace Prof Mzilikazi Khumalo.🕯 pic.twitter.com/tfS5BaDxw0
— Paul Mnisi 𓋹𓍑𓋴 (@Mnisi__weMvula) June 22, 2021
South Africa has lost another giant. Just got news that Prof. Mzilikazi Khumalo passed away this morning. Highly respected choral music composer. May his soul rest in peace. Condolences to everyone that knew and loved him. Especially his family. 🎶❤️🕯 pic.twitter.com/8FobdrJIvs
— Matuba Mahlatjie (@MahlatjieMatuba) June 22, 2021