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West Nkosi

Using the death of pennywhistle and alto saxophone player and record manufacturer West Nkosi, in October 1998, from injuries sustained within an auto crash, South Africa lost one its true music visionaries. While his playing was a significant element in the early-’60s achievement of Spokes Mashiyane and His All Superstar Flutes, Nkosi produced his greatest influence being a manufacturer. Furthermore to making internationally released albums by Ladysmith Dark Mambazo and Mahalthini as well as the Mahotella Queens, he oversaw recordings by Abofane Bottom Ohudeni, Tolerance Afrika, Mpharanyane Using the Cannibals Featuring Ray Phiri and Mnca Mtshali, Amaswazi Emvelo, Footwear Laces, Moses Mchunu, O’Yaba, Mfaz’ Omnyama, Phuzekhemisi, Joe Mafela, and Johnny Mokholi. Within a declaration delivered soon after his loss of life, Neil Greenberg, a spokesperson for the Gallo record label, stated, “Every twist of Nkosi’s rather erratic and marvelous process through lifestyle and music continues to be earmarked with a succession of outstanding and innovative albums created for various groupings.” Nkosi released his musical profession in the past due-’50s as an associate of kwela (pennywhistle) music group the Pretoria Tower Children. Relocating to Johannesburg, he was asked to become listed on the top-notch kwela music group, Spokes Mashiyane and His All Superstar Flutes. When the reputation from the pennywhistle begun to fade, he bought a utilized saxophone with cash he earned being a local employee. A much-sought program player, Nkosi begun to function closely with manufacturer Rupert Bopape. Under Bopape’s assistance, Nkosi helped to pioneer the harder-edged offshoot of kwela, mbanqanga. When Bopape reunited Mahlathini as well as the Mahotella Queens in 1984, Nkosi was recruited as the group’s manufacturer. Three years afterwards, he toured with Paul Simon and Ladysmith Dark Mambazo.

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