‘Gloria Bosman, thank you for the music,’ says friends and colleagues of late jazz muso

Jazz legend and musical veteran Abigail Kubeka performs a Jazz item during the memorial service for Gloria Bosman. . Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Jazz legend and musical veteran Abigail Kubeka performs a Jazz item during the memorial service for Gloria Bosman. . Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 18, 2023


The jazz fraternity - Mam Abigail Kubeka, Brenda Mthambo, Bill Monama, McCoy Mrubata, Nokukhanya Dlamini and Simphiwe Dana - took to the stage to give Gloria Bosman a befitting and glorious send off at the Soweto Theatre, on Friday, March 17.

Each speaker reflected on the life of the late musician, who passed away, on Tuesday, March 14.

Bosman was remembered as a musical genius as many, including legendary jazz legend Mam Abigail Kubeka, hailed Bosman for her vocal prowess, a gift she possessed from an early age.

“I can proudly say, I brought that girl up and I’m proud. I’m grateful to be able to do that,” said Kubeka, before breaking into song.

“Rest in Peace, my darling. We will never forget you and thank you for the music,” Kubeka added.

Letta Mbulu and Abigail Kubheka at Gloria Bosmans Memorial service. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

A friend and seasoned broadcaster, Brenda Sisana, touched on the bond she shared with Bosman. She also spoke about Bosman’s many talents, which included her “incredible ability to use words”.

“I won’t claim that Gloria spoke on the phone a lot but I can safely say whenever she spoke I heard because she spoke with so much great vibration,” said Sisane.

She continued:“Thank you Gloria for allowing me to get to know you. I would like to talk about you as a thinker. She just had a natural wit about her but she could also write lyrically about spirituality.

“I don’t have to repeat, you heard her tell us who we are as Africans just now.

“She was an intellectual. And the most beautiful thing about Gloria was her ability for reinvention.

“She could change her look and go bald headed at a drop of a hat and one day she will be this lady wearing heels. She was so beautiful doing it.”

Echoing Sisane’s sentiments, renowned radio host Nothemba Madumo described Bosman as a star, a sister, a friend and a multifaceted artist.

“All my moments with Gloria over the years were glorious, that’s why I used to call her ‘glorious’. She never said no to anything I requested of her, be it, take part in various events I created to celebrate women in music and jazz or even when I asked her to pay tribute to other women too.

“Her artistry is very important for us to treasure as this is where her intellect, her passion, and her creativity flourished for all of us to appreciate. Thank you Gloria for embracing your free spirit as we witnessed it in your love, work and personality.”

Maduma expressed her sadness to know Bosman's name will no longer be listed in the line-up of artists who will be performing anywhere.

“…but trust me, her music and legacy will forever be celebrated,” she added.

Mentor and fellow musician Sipho Mabuse pays tribute to the late Gloria Bosman. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, who regarded Bosman as his younger sister, spoke highly of the late musician, her unique talent and her immense contribution to the music industry.

Mabuse also touched on his earlier encounter with Bosman, years before she became the Jazz powerhouse.

“I used to run a club called Kippies at the Market Theatre and I remember one of her first performances, she was barefooted and she wore a black dress.

“I remember vividly, she sauntered, she cajoled, her voice soaring like an angel, rising to the skies…Kippies was heavenly in the night…the night was glorious,” said Mabuse.

“Who is she? Gloria is her name. Her glorious voice, she sauntered sideways, she mesmerised, the audience acknowledged, she was indeed glorious.”

Taking to the stage, Naledi Chiloane thanked Mzansi for the support the family received the moment the news of Bosman’s passing on Tuesday.

“On behalf of the entire family, friends and beloved, kindly accept our deepest gratitude. To everyone who is present in paying their last respect to our ray of sunshine, which is uGloria Nosikhumbuzo Ntombikayise Bosman,” said Chiloane.

“She was a vision of love. She was in love. May her spirit live on. May she continue to soar.”

The family announced that the family service will be held on Sunday, March 19. Further details are yet to be announced.