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
#PrinceRamaVarma will be live on @bbcasiannetwork today midday with @violinjyotsna bbc.in/1ro1Szh @cultural_co @WMN_UK
Rough Guide LIVE: featuring Three Top International Bands – World Music Network – Live Music: worldmusic.net/live-music/new… via @WMN_UK
A new Guide To World Music you say? The music of Voodo:from Benin to Brazil and New Orleans.bit.ly/1k5SvkN
The new 'Rough Guide To African Blues' and 'Rough Guide To Celtic Music' will be released on 28 April! Read more: bit.ly/1hkX2LM
Two new tracks added to the Rough Guide To World Music Network by #Setenta and #AbdelGadirSalim, Listen here! spoti.fi/1g6stcS
Win A Copy Of 'Wild Goats & Unmarried Women' 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'.