The guitar was his best friend

MASKANDI musician Sabelo Ngcamu has been described as a young flower that was blossoming to bear fruit for the music genre.

MASKANDI musician Sabelo Ngcamu has been described as a young flower that was blossoming to bear fruit for the music genre.

His career was fast ascending and at the time that "big' things were expected of him, his life was cut short unexpectedly.

Ngcamu was shot and killed and his body was found near a river in the Marianridge area on Tuesday. He had left his home at Dassenhoek on July 5 to perform at a World Cup fan park in Durban but never arrived at the event.

His family had reported him missing on July 8.

The news of his brutal death has left musicians, his fans and family in shock.

He started the group SMS in 2005. The members of the group included himself, his father Khulekani and brother Smanga. They released two albums - Amaphoyisa and Ombombayi- which was a great success and really launched the group.

His father described him as a good maskandi singer, who had music running in his blood, a loving father to four boys, a son, colleague and a good friend.

"He was my pillar of strength. When things were not going well at home and in our careers, he always had a plan and a way of dealing with any situation. He always told jokes and wrote most of the songs," his father said.

"The guitar was his best friend. He would lock himself in his room and play his guitar. Whenever he thought of a song, he would get excited and call me to hear it.

"The group has lost its backbone, I don't know how we are going to survive without him," the father said.

Ngcamu was originally from Vuma at KwaMaphumulo in northern KwaZulu-Natal. He studied at Vuma School from Grade One to Grade 7.

He then dropped out and did piece jobs to help his father support the family.

Music producer and owner of Full House Music Paul Nzimande discovered the group in 2008 after he was impressed with their music.

Since then the group has done a lot of different campaigns, both government and private.

Nzimande said they were devastated by Ngcamu's death. He said the singer had worked on a number of campaigns that promoted peace in communities without expecting anything in return.

"Just last year, Ngcamu was part of the 2010 World Cup Crime Campaign and he was one of the artists who volunteered to take part in the campaign.

"It is very ironic that he was killed in cold blood and was himself a victim of crime," said Nzimande.

The singer will be buried on Sunday after a memorial service at 10am to be held in the Vuma area in KwaMaphumulo.