Grahamstown arts community suffered a tragic loss after the passing away of local Kwaito star, Siyanda Futhufuthu.
Siyanda Kwaito, 33, was a multi-skilled individual emerging from Grahamstown. He has been into music from his childhood, starting off with friends at high school in 1997 and won several awards.
He recorded his first debut single, Lomntana, in 2004 and got airplay on national radio station, Umhlobo Wenene, as well as local stations Radio Grahamstown and Rhodes Music Radio.
In 2006, he won an award in the Grahamstown Universal Youth Group Talent Search. In the same year he won the Makana Municipality Music Competition and his song titled Intsokolo was featured on The Best of Makana compilation CD.
He has been performing in and around the Eastern Cape and was a regular guest artist at the Peace Day music programme, an event hosted by Corinne Cooper of Sonic Art Studio.
In 2010, three of his songs were included in the Eastern Cape Contemporary CD released and sold nationally. He was nominated in the Eastern Cape Music Awards for Best Newcomer and Best Kwaito Artist in 2015.
Siyanda was a hard-working Grahamstown artist who always grabbed opportunities with both hands. He was the only national Kwaito star remaining in Grahamstown.
Siyanda passed away on the night of Saturday 17 February, right after he messaged a lot of people about his nomination for the Eastern Cape Music Awards 2018, for Best Kwaito and Best Male Artist.
Before he passed away, he performed at a school event at Nyaluza High School on Friday 16 February.
On Thursday 22 February his family, alongside Grahamstown artists, held a Memorial Service at the City Hall, sharing and celebrating precious times with the late Kwaito-star.
There were live performances and his music was played for the audience.
On Saturday 24 February, he was set to launch his CD titled Joza My Jozi, however, the family and artists made his dream come through, with or without him.
The event was held at Olde 65 and all went well, among the guest artists were, Zeebest, Ntombomxhosa, Kay Kay, Zeezee Da Rapper, Azlan Makalima and Bhodlingqaka, to name a few.
It was a memorable night, it felt like the Kwaito-star was still alive, as we were all jamming to his music in between the sets. May his soul rest in peace.
Watch his music-video