The Life and Times of Soul Brothers

This is the befitting title of the book written by Sydney Fetsie Maluleke, a young man from Giyani in Limpopo Province of South Africa. He is currently based in Johannesburg where is working as an educator. Sydney grew up in a home of music. His father John Maluleke has been a great fan of Soul Brother for over 40 years. He has followed the group since its inception in 1976 up to this day.

The Life and Times of the Soul Brothers | Sydney Fetsie Maluleke

Sydney’s father had every album of the Soul Brothers. That had influence in making a young man to develop interest and understanding of the Mbaqanga music. In our telephonic interview recently when Sydney was asked what prompted him to write this book…

He said there are two incidents that opened his eyes and made him to take a decision to write a book seriously. After the only living member of the group Moses “The Black Moses” Ngwenya, the founding member, a master keyboardist, a composer of the band was mugged by criminals in 2015 but survived with injured fingers. And few months later another founding member David “Mdavu uyadavuza” Masondo passed on due to illness. An author realized after these two incidents that something has to be done to preserve the legacy of the band. Hence the book became an obvious choice.

The Soul Brothers which is affectionately called “Ogandaganda baseNingizimu Afrika” means “The Bulldozers of South Africa” was formed in 1976 by David Masondo, Tuza Mthethwa, Zenzele Mchunu from KwaZulu-Natal, American Zulu from Embalenhle in Mpumalanga and Moses Ngwenya from Johannesburg. The band was later joined by Mazwell Mngadi and Sicelo Ndlela replacing members who died tragically and Zulu who left the band. The group like any other band in the music industry had its fair share of challenges, tragedies, success and luck in their 40 plus years of survival.

Their first album was Umshoza wami which served as a tone setting material and put the band on the pedestal. It also introduced the band with a new sound of Mbaqanga with a sound of soul. The band has released more than 40 albums and their recent release is Undendende in which they were celebrating 40th Anniversary in 2016.

In the book Black Moses Ngwenya is telling all about the band as he was there behind the scene from the onset to this day. When talking to him about the book he said: “I am very excited about book and something that our fans will be proud of”. And further was in full support of the project. The author embraced and appreciated the support he got from the family members of the founding band members and current members and fans. This is indeed a step in the right direction.

The Soul Brothers fans, followers and music lovers are in for a treat with this book.

The book is available as a hard copy but it will be available online soon. The writing of the book has inspired the establishment of a publishing company, Maluks Books. The publishing focuses on writing books about South African musicians and heroes in other spheres of life.

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