PRETORIA - Memorial services for award-winning gospel singer Sfiso Ncwane was held in Durban on Thursday.
Ncwane's fans in Johannesburg will get the opportunity to attend a memorial service on Friday. He will be laid to rest at Heroes Acre in Durban on Saturday.
The singer died of kidney failure on Monday shocking fans.
Tributes to the singer continued on Wednesday.
Family spokesman Mhlo Gumede said Ncwane was much more than a gospel singer. "Most of the people that he got along with were not in the gospel genre; he got along with those in the kwaito scene like DJ Tira, he got along with people who play soccer [like] uSiyabonga Nkosi, and even actors."
Gospel industry heavyweights were among the people who paid their respects at the family home in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.
Music producer Tshepo Nzimande said: "After listening to him I said, 'Okay let's give him a chance.' He was [one of] the first artists I [gave a] recording contract with Zuzimuzi music."
Ncwane's manager, Nick Zama, said: “Sifiso was the most successful independent gospel artist, most artists started going independent after he did everyone has always been with big labels. He knew where to go, whether you wanted distribution, song downloads, gigs for artists, if you needed connections, he was a walking directory.”
“The way he wrote, the way he performed his art was very different," said gospel singer Sgwili Zuma. "If you listen to his songs Phakamaa and Bayede Baba you can hear this guy writes different music that would be striking to the ear.
"He knew how to write for the head and heart, pain and joy – he could write about situations facing people and write about those things relevant to that time – even when he ventured into hip-hop! You could give him a jazz song and he could sing it, isichatamiya – every type of genres he fitted.”
A Ncwane band member, Spha "Chief" Vezi, said everone who performed with or heard Ncwane was family. "The band is like in the crowd, the crowd on stage… it's not that important what happens after, it’s what happens now – yes it's painful, yes it’s hurt us, yes we were not ready, but we have to be strong for mamNcwana," Vezi said.