Basil Coetzee

Cape-Town based tenor saxophonist who was born and grew up in District Six.

Performed and recorded with several top South African jazz musicians including Dollar Brand, Kippie Moeketsi, Pat Matshikiza, Lionel Beukes and Errol Dyers.

His most famous collaborations were with Dollar Brand, including his iconic saxophone contribution to ‘Mannenberg – Is Where It’s Happening” which led to his nickname, Basil “Mannenberg” Coetzee.

In 1978 he released the album Shrimp Boats, in collaboration with Barney Rachabane (alto saxophone), Charles Johnstone (bass), Sipho Gumede (bass), Gilbert Mathews (drums), Rod Clarke (drums, percussion) and Lionel Pillay (keyboards, piano).

In the mid-1970s to early 1980s period he was a member of Black Disco, Pacific Express and Movement In The City. In the mid-1980s he formed the group Sabenza with whom he recorded the album Sabenza (1987).

He also performed the saxophone solo on Bright’s Blue’s “Weeping (1987).

He released two subsequent solo albums, Monwabisi (1991) and B (1998).

He died in Mitchell’s Plain in March 1998.


Assembled by Condry Ziqubu in 1984 as a backing band for exiled artists Letta Mbulu and Caiphus Semenya. Lumumba consisted of Condry Ziqubu (guitar), Sipho Gumede (bass), Jabu Nkosi (keyboards), Makhaya Mahlangu (percussion).

They toured with Letta Mbulu and Caiphus Semenya in Botswana and Lesotho in 1984 and the United States in 1985.

Lumumba also constituted Condry Ziqubu’s early backing band and in 1984 they released “Yellow Mieliemiel”, followed by “Skorokoro” and “Via Orlando” in 1985, “Gorilla Man” in 1986 and “Sounds of Soweto” in 1987.


Formed in Johannesburg in 1981. A partial supergroup including former members of Spirits Rejoice, Harari and Malombo: Sipho Gumede (bass, vocals), Khaya Mahlangu (tenor and soprano saxes, vocals), Mahwetsha Donald Laka (keyboards, vocals), Gabriel Mabi Thobejane (percussion), Madoda Matunjwa (drums) and Manyatso Mathole (guitar).

Released the album Sakhile in 1982, followed by New Life (1983) and Phambili (1989).

The line-up for the 1989 album was Sipho Gumede (bass guitar and 8-string bass, vocals), Khaya Mahlangu (tenor and soprano saxes, vocals), Jabu Nkosi (keyboards, synthesizers, vocals), Gabriel Mabi Thobejane (percussion), Bheki Kunene (drums) and Menyatso Mathole (guitar).

Further released Welcome Home (1991) and Togetherness (2004).

Sipho Gumede

Sipho Gumede (1952 – 2004) was a very influential South African musician. Bass player and songwriter and more recently a vocalist.

He started off playing in a band in Durban in 1968. Went up to Johannesburg in the early 70s where he made a living as a fringe musician until 1975 when he formed Spirits Rejoice.

Recorded the album African Spaces in 1976 and Spirit’s Rejoice in 1980, including the hit “Shine on” (1980). Gumede left to form Sakhile in 1981. Sakhile played a stronger form of African jazz than did Spirit’s Rejoice.

They aligned themselves with the political left and released a number of albums in the 1980s. When the band broke up Gumede pursued a solo career in the 1990s until his death in 2004.

Spirits Rejoice

Spirits Rejoice was a jazz-fusion band formed in 1975 by bassist Sipho Gumede (1952 – 2004), and pianist, saxophonist, guitarist Bheki Mseleku (1955 – 2008). The band released two albums, African Spaces (1977) and Spirits Rejoice (1978). Their single “Shine On” charted on Capital Radio 604’s Top 20 chart in 1980.