Music producer was helping King Goodwill Zwelithini with his gospel album
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Durban - King Goodwill Zwelithini was not only a custodian of Zulu culture, but also a budding musician.
The Zulu monarch was in the process of compiling CDs, with him on piano playing gospel hymns. He had last year enlisted the help of a Durban recording artist to assist him in improving his music and polishing his piano-playing skills.
Sandy B, a music producer and composer, said a sound engineer, Elvis Gangiah had introduced him to the king who wanted his input on his music project.
"He wanted me to help reproduce his music and market his album of instrumental gospel hymns. He had created CDs but we were trying to enhance it. Unfortunately, the lockdown slowed things down. We had planned to meet this month to work on his project.
He said they spoke a lot and spent time as friends sharing stories of their life. "We also laughed a lot. He would call any day to make me listen to something new he had learned with his piano. I would tease him and tell him to practise more to avoid people throwing eggs at him. I'd joke and tell Bayede (the king) ukuthi first I must take him for busking in front of his old favourite stores in town. He would laugh hard," said Sandy B.
He said the king loved music, adding that it gave him a lot of satisfaction and peace.
Gangiah said he was pleasantly surprised by the king's passion for music. "He had written some Christian worship songs. He wanted something to leave behind when he passed on eventually, but no one expected it to be this soon.
"We started working together from 2019. But last year because of Covid-19 he recorded at home and sent the files to me to fix and get it sounding right. It was his personal project to play at church and for people close to him," said Gangiah.