Obituary: Shiyani Ngcobo
Shiyani Ngcobo, master maskanda musician from KwaZulu-Natal passed away on the 18th February 2011. Shiyani’s music stood apart from the other many maskanda musicians playing and recording in South Africa largely on account of his resistance to local trends that favour electronic drums-kits and synthesizers. For Shiyani, these sounds were alien to the aesthetic of maskanda and its claim on Zulu tradition.
Shiyani’s life was marked by contradictions. He reached great heights as a performer, playing across the United Kingdom, Europe and Cuba. His acclaimed recording with World Music Network did much to increase his exposure beyond South Africa, and in 2007 he performed at Carnegie Hall, New York. Despite his international recognition he was largely snubbed by the music industry at home. He lived in humble circumstances and was devoted to his wife, Gertrude, daughter, Khanysile and two grandchildren. Shiyani taught maskanda guitar in School of Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and in an affiliated outreach program, UKUSA. He was admired by students and academics alike.
Shiyani was a gentle and intense man with remarkable insights into human nature. His experience and emotions are captured in his music, which will most certainly be treasured by many across the globe. It was my great privilege to work closely with Shiyani. We shared many troubles and joys. Hamba Kahle my dear friend.
Dr Kathryn Olsen
Missed @BayirOlcay on @BBCRadio3 last Friday? You can still enjoy the show for another 5 days! bbc.in/1nrQ2q5 pic.twitter.com/xqsfxePLOy
'The Gnawa Berber' by @SLagnawi is out today… Add it to your music collection now! bit.ly/1Fa4eJX pic.twitter.com/EZrW24vtXT
Liked our RG to Music Without Frontiers? You can vote for it & determine the order of the Nov Audio Chart: bit.ly/1xRYiR4 @UNPOintl
Why aren't you listening to the fantastic @BayirOlcay talking to @Thisislopa on @BBCRadio3's @WMN_UK? : bbc.in/1nrQ2q5
Having a @WMN_UK themed morning. Rough Guide To Music Without Frontiers compilation followed by Bayir Olcay World On 3 session.
Win A Copy Of Sally Nyolo: Tiger Run in our online competition
New City Music, Chicago: 'a great showcase of the funky sounds currently made in Crescent City'.
The Guardian, UK, 3*** stars: 'A classy compilation'.
Guardian, UK 4****stars: 'A highly original, compelling set'.
Froots, UK: '... a superb album of an under-represented music ... and comes highly recommended'.