Local Jazz legends are now walking on fame

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

The spirit of South African jazz greats was revived at the weekend when a Walk of Fame was unveiled in their honour.

The Johnnie Walker Pioneering Spirits of Jazz honoured Kippie Moeketsi, Jonas Gwangwa, Hugh Masekela, Winston Mankunku, Miriam Makeba, Chris McGregor, Basil Manenberg Coetzee, Hotep Idris Galeta, Zacks Nkosi and Ntemi Piliso in Newtown, Johannesburg.

The jazz legends' names were engraved in granite stones on a pavement near Mary Fitzgerald Square.

The event was attended by Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan, Gauteng MEC for sport, arts and culture Barbara Creecy, and hundreds of musicians and celebrities.

Kippie Moeketsi, a defining voice and symbol of jazz in Sophiatown's heydays in the 1950's, was honoured posthumously.

His family said the award was a sign of appreciation for the great music he delivered to all.

A panel of experts, including producers, archivists and jazz writers had identified the music icons, and a website allowed the public to add their votes.

Sindiswa Mbude, Johnnie Walker's marketing manager said : "They are the spirits of our unique SA jazz legacy.

"We want to inspire others to take those first steps in realising their passion."