DURBAN – A life-size wax statue of gospel musician Sfiso Ncwane was unveiled at his funeral at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
Sculptor Lungelo Gumede, who is Ncwane’s brother-in-law, unveiled the statue of the late musician wearing a brown suit, white shirt, and pinstripe tie.
Ncwane died at the age of 37 at Fourways Life Hospital in Johannesburg of suspected kidney failure on Monday. His wife Ayanda was by his side when he died. He was taken to hospital the previous night.
In a brief address, Gumede said he told Ncwane he would sculpt him "one day".
“Sfiso and I were both artists, but he was a musician and I am a fine artist specialising as a sculptor. I had a long-standing agreement with him that one day I would make his statue but I always told him I only make statues of the rich and famous, political icons, and celebrities.
“After seeing my sister Ayanda crying so much for her husband since Monday, I decided to do something to comfort her. And because on December 31 he was going to celebrate the awards he recently won, we used that as an excuse for me to build him a statue.”
Ncwane’s former producer and manager Tshepo Nzimande, said Ncwane was an unparalleled gospel music icon who was determined to help others achieve their dreams.
“Musicians do not usually uplift the communities they come from but usually boast of their success once they make it in the industry. But I thank Sfiso for his humbleness and his determination to better his craft and making a success of himself,” Nzimande said.
Ncwane’s biggest hit Kulungile Baba went multi-platinum and sold more than 350,000 copies, was nominated for Crown Awards Song of the Year, and won the South African Music Awards Record of the Year in 2013 – the first ever for a gospel artist.
Ncwane will be buried at Heroes Acre in Chesterville‚ Durban, later on Saturday. He is survived by his wife and their two children, as well as three children from a previous relationship.
African News Agency