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The Eastern Cape is mourning the loss of its ambassador and renowned choral composer, Thanduxolo Christian Ngqobe, 50, who died on Sunday.
Ngqobe, an assistant manager in the department of sport, recreation, arts and culture in the Alfred Nzo district office, made a strong impact with his composition of The Crucifixion, a complete opera work in isiXhosa.
He studied music and conducted workshops in choral music in Alfred Nzo and OR Tambo districts.
Ngqobe was known for always being ready and willing to share his knowledge with others within these Mpondoland areas.
His influence is evident in the high quality performance and composition style of choirs from the area. This is the reason the choirs have always done well in music competitions.
Choirs from Lusikisiki, his home town, are known for always leading in the standard category of the yearly OR Tambo Choral Festival.
The area's school choir also made their mark - they always made it to the national level in competitions.
"His love for choral music cannot be paralleled," said the Eastern Cape MEC for sport, recreation, arts and culture Noxolo Abraham-Ntantiso.
She described Ngqobe as the music ambassador of the province.
"His dedication to the advancement of arts and culture in the rural areas was noticeable," said Abraham-Ntantiso.
"He would reach out to the various corners of the district, conducting workshops and identifying talent for further development."
When expressing her condolences to the Ngqobe family, relatives and friends, Abraham-Ntantiso said: "It is deeply shocking and saddening to hear such news. The loss of this doyen is a loss to the nation. The whole Eastern Cape mourns this sad loss."
She said: "Let us find comfort from the legacy that Ngqobe leaves behind and ensure that we nurture it to fruition."
Provincial spokesman for department of sport, recreation, arts and culture Manzandonga Vabaza said Ngqobe was taken to a Durban private hospital after complaining of a stomachache. He died at the hospital.
He will be buried tomorrow at a local cemetery in Holy Cross, Lusikisiki.