Rise and rise of Mazibuko

Name: Jabulani Mazibuko.

Name: Jabulani Mazibuko.

Born: March 3, 1917 in Kestell, Free State.

Schooling: Maria Radtches Wasbank and St Francis College, Marianhill, KwaZulu-Natal.

Formative musical years: Started showing talent and improved with the encouragement of Catholic nuns. Before long, Mazibuko became conductor of the school and church choirs.

Professional life: Mazibuko first taught at St Louis Bertrams in Newcastle. He spent a number of years teaching and conducting the choir at Donaldson Primary School in Soweto.

Mazibuko also taught at St Francis Xavier's School in Sophiatown, Johannesburg. He founded the adult choir, Jabavu Choristers and later formed another adult choir, The Capediums.

Marital status: Mazibuko married Sophie Ntombana Nomasonto Msimang in Sophiatown in 1944. They were blessed with three children - Gugu, Nonhlanhla and Vusi.

Mazibuko sprang to prominence in 1969 when he started the Johannesburg Teachers Choir, which later became known as the Soweto Teachers Choir. The became the first Ford Choral Music Competition champions and won a brand-new bus .

International stage: Mazibuko took the Soweto Teachers Choir to the Eisteddfod at Llangollen in Wales in 1980. They took third prize in the competition in which 30 choirs from all over the world participated.

In 1983, the German government invited the choir to sing in ten cities and towns.

That was also the year when the Soweto Teachers Choir became a member of the International Federation of Choral Music.

The popular choir received the Astera award from Radio Sesotho and Radio Tswana for the best performance in the SABC-organised competitions.