Award-winning gospel king Sfiso Ncwane’s sudden death on Monday has left his family, friends and colleagues shocked and lost for words. Some say they had no idea he was sick, while others who shared a stage with him days before his untimely death say they did notice that something was untoward about his health. His closest friends and colleagues, Gospel Queen Rebecca Malope and music maestro Sipho Makhabane said they didn’t know he was sick.
But the Lion of Judah hit-maker Lebo Sekgobela, the last musician to share a stage with Sfiso, said he wasn’t feeling well during the week but he showed up at their Praise and Worship event in Burgersfort, Limpopo, where he tried to perform even though he was weak.
“He wasn’t feeling well during last week but he came to join me at a praise and whorship event in Burgersfort,” Sekgobela said. Malope said Ncwane’s dream was to become a pastor and preach the word of God across the world. “He was like a son to me. I met him for the first time at one of the gospel music live concerts and since then we
became very close,” said Malope. She described Ncwane as a hard working musician who put his whole weight in the gospel circle. “He changed the face of gospel when he won record of the year, something that never happened before,” said Malope. She said he was not just singing but praised and worshipped God with his songs. Makhabane said he
didn’t know about Ncwane’s death until he received a call from the media, asking about the death. “I was on my way to Mpumalanga but I had to make a turn to Joburg after receiving the disturbing call. I first started by calling Sfiso and his wife Amanda but their phones weren’t answered. A relative answered at last and said Sfiso was in hospital in Fourways and all was confirmed,” he said.
Makhabane said he, too, didn’t know Ncwane was sick. “We have travelled across together,” recalled Makhabane.
Ncwane’s death has thrown the entire country into a shock mode. The praise and worship songs composer and singer, who made headlines last year after buying his pastor a R1.9 million Mercedez- Benz, died of kidney failure at a
Johannesburg hospital. According to his colleagues in the industry, he was at the Kaya FM event last week but couldn’t perform because he wasn’t feeling well. President Jacob Zuma said he was also saddened by Ncwane’s death
and conveyed his condolences to the family. “It is a great loss to the country. Not long ago we lost Mandoza.”
Ncwane (37) was born and bred in KZN. He spent his child and adulthood praising and worshiping God. At the age of eight, he was already singing in church where his talent was discovered. During his childhood, he faced health problems after being struck by lightning and started fainting. Ncwane met his wife Ayanda in 2006 and she introduced him to a church reverend, and encouraged him to go into gospel fulltime.
They now have two children.Throughout the years, Ncwane achieved so much and became a living testimony in the gospel circle. He played keyboards, bass guitar and drums without any formal training and people ended up inviting him to perform at their local churches, weddings, parties and funerals. A local man spotted and helped him record his debut album Vulamasango. Ncwane’s first professional album was with Bula Music produced by gospel music maestro Tshepo Ndzimande. He then released “Inombolo yasezulwini” featuring the late legendary musician Vuyo Mokoena and this album went on to become a best seller. In 2003, he released Umkhululeko. He met Malope in the same year. In 2006, the gospel king went all out to prove his power in music, worked with the likes of Malope, Winnie Mashaba and Makhabane. He released a DVD of Umkhululeko with EMI and titled it Isiphephelo Sami. The gospel star also launched his own music company called Sfiso Ncwane Productions. It was in 2011, however, when his stardom reached peak levels. He released hit song “Kulungile Baba” which sold multiplatinum in just 16 months. It was nominated song of the year on the Crown Awards, won the biggest award in the music industry at the SAMA19 for Record of the year 2013 including AGMA Award in London. Ncwane gave so much to his community by starting Sfiso Ncwane Bursary Foundation to help the needy. He donated school uniforms to disadvantages pupils.