LEGENDARY mbhaqanga band Soul Brothers is mourning the death of their legendary multi-talented guitarist, arranger and producer Max “China” Mngadi.
Mngadi died on Friday, 11 March in a Joburg hospital after losing his battle against a long illness, which is undisclosed.
He died while the band is touring Mzansi, celebrating 46 years. Soul Brothers said they would continue with their tour to honour him.
Soul Brothers co-founder Moses “Black Moses” Ngwenya told Daily Sun they’re still shocked that their jack of all trades is no more.
“Mngadi started to not feel well after the death of our co-founder and leader David Masondo in 2015 and he was in and out of hospital, but he was able to work with us.
“His illness was slowly developing and we are grateful that he nurtured another guitarist Siboniso Zuma to continue to play guitar for the band,” he said.
He said for this tour, Mngadi had not been going with them because of his illness but they had hoped he’d recover and return to continue with his unique work.
“No one will fill Mngadi’s space because he was multi-talented: able to play his guitar in a unique way, arranging our songs in a stylish way and producing it.
“Our tour for the 46-year anniversary celebration will pay tribute to him for his contribution to the band. We are still shocked and don’t believe that he is no more,” he said.
Ngwenya said Mngadi has been with them since the formation of the band in the 1970s, and his multi-talented contribution took the band to another level.
“We worked with him on many hit albums including uSathane Simehlulile, Isithothobala and many more and his work was amazing. He was the best lead guitar player.”
Ngwenya said the Mngadi family was still to meet to discuss the funeral arrangements, but for now they needed space to mourn Mngadi.