South African Star Jabu Khanyile Dies at 49

South Africa – Popular South African musician Jabu Khanyile died on November 12th, at a Johannesburg Hospital. He was suffering from prostate cancer and diabetes and had been undergoing radiation therapy for the past five months. Khanyile was married to Phindy Dlamini and Khululiwe Sithole and had seven children.

Khanyile began his music career in Soweto at a young age. He joined The Editions in 1977 and left the band in 1984. Producer Koloi Lebona persuaded him to join Bayete. Khanyile began first as a drummer, then as the band’s lead vocalist.

Mango Records signed Bayete in the 1990s, releasing Mmalo-We and the Pan African inspired Umkhaya-Lo. It was the 1994 release Mmalo-We which really proved Jabu’s songwriting, performing and vocal abilities. The album, produced by Thapelo Kgomo, earned Jabu a number of awards, including the FNB South African Music Award for the best male performer of the year and Best Song of the year.

His accomplishments with Bayete won him the 1996 Kora Award (the most prestigious African music awards) for best South African artist.