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Home Events Live Event Live Performance Press Release Musical Celebration of Dr Madala Kunene’ Friday 23 June at 19:00 at Centre for Jazz and Popular Music.

Musical Celebration of Dr Madala Kunene’ Friday 23 June at 19:00 at Centre for Jazz and Popular Music.

UKZN’s College of Humanities recently conferred an honorary doctoral degree on Dr Muziwakhe “Madala” Kunene (Doctor of Music).

Affectionately known as Madala Kunene, a world-renowned guitarist, he was recognised by the University for his outstanding contribution to the South African music industry. He decided he wanted to be a musician early in life and fashioned his own guitar from a cooking oil tin and strings made from fishing line.

In his acceptance address presented in isiZulu, Kunene expressed gratitude to the University for his musical recognition. He also took to the stage to perform one of his songs that had audiences enthralled. Kunene reflected on his humble beginnings playing the guitar with friends in Mkhumbane, Durban, in the 1950s. Despite the challenges they faced as artists, including poverty and oppression, they persevered and contributed to South African music

Kunene encouraged graduates to pursue their dreams, despite obstacles, and to make meaningful contributions to society. He said, ‘As your journey starts today, it is important to know who you are, and to truly follow what is your gift. We are not only studying for ourselves, but we are studying to improve society.’

Turning professional in the 1970s, Kunene has shared the stage with great musicians including Doc Mthalane, Songamasu, Shor Philips, Mankunku Ngozi and Busi Mhlongo.

Kunene started recording music in the 1990s and in 1995 released an album Madamax with Swiss guitarist and songwriter Max Lasser. He later released King of the Zulu Guitar – Vol. 1, which sold well overseas and was a SAMA-nominated album.

In 2004, he composed the score for the feature film Yesterday, while in 2014, he collaborated with various local and international artists to produce: Madala Kunene – BAFO the Mentor, The Forest Jam Sessions, Vol. 3.

Released in 2015, the album 1959, featured musical giants including Lu Dlamini, Hugh Masekela, Sthembiso Hlela, Max Lasser, Vishen Kemraj, Sazi Dlamini.

The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music is proud to host a musical celebration of Dr Madala Kunene in acknowledging this historic occasion, his long and invaluable association with UKZN, and his central role as a musician and cultural icon in our community. Dr Madala Kunene will be joined by Lu Dlamini, Vishen Kemraj and Bab Themba Mokoena.

Gig Listing

This concert is supported by Concerts SA.

Friday, 23 June 2023.

UKZN, Centre for Jazz and Popular Music.

University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Howard College Campus, Dennis Shepstone Building, level 2


Tickets: R150, pensioner tickets are R100, and student tickets are R50.


Jun 23 2023


7:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Jun 23 2023
  • Time: 1:00 pm
Centre for Jazz & Popular Music


Centre for Jazz & Popular Music
University of KwaZulu-Natal, 238 Mazisi Kunene Rd, Glenwood, Durban, 4041