Choral World Mourns the Death of a Music Genius
Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Popular Eastern Cape Choral Music icon, composer, conductor, trainer, and adjudicator Dr Hector Makhaya Mjana, has died.Dr Mjana died on Friday,01 March 2019 in Port Elizabeth after a short illness. Tributes have poured in for the former school teacher, who was born in Port Elizabeth in New Brighton Location on 07 November 1953. Mjana, the founder of Joy Of Africa adult choir loved and lived choral music. He made his presence and contribution in choral music in South Africa felt. 

Because of his professional and intellectual prowess in choral music, he was awarded an Honorary Masters Degree in music by the University of Fort Hare in 2001. His prowess in choral music has distinguished himself among the best ever produced talents in the Eastern Cape and the country at large since the times of Enoch Sontonga.

As an alumnus of the UFH, he has always associated himself with almost every monumental event of the UFH like the following:

  1. During the inauguration of the first Black University Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, the late Oliver Tambo and Professor Sibusiso Bengu -Dr Mjana composed a song titled"Qingqa Nokholeji". This is still the most popular song in the choral music fraternity.
  2. During the 95th Anniversary Celebrations of the UFH in 2011, Dr Mjana trained and conducted the university choir.
  3. During the Centenary Celebrations of the UFH in 2016, Dr Mjana composed a Centenary Celebration song, trained both campuses university choirs and conducted the Combined University Mass Choir to the delight and jubilation of all.

Tributes have poured in for the gallant legend of music. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Fort Hare, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu had this to say,

 “On behalf of the University Council, Management and staff, students and alumni, we convey our heartfelt condolences to the Mjana family and everybody who is associated with the family. We understand the extent of pain the family is going through, and we as the University of Fort Hare we share that pain with you. Dr Mjana’s name will forever be reflected in the list of great men and women who lifted the flag and name of the University with pride and distinction, and may his soul rest in peace”

Makhaya Mjana’s Memorial Service will be held at Nongoza Jebe Hall, popularly known as Centenary Hall in New Brighton Location in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, 7 March 2019, and he will be buried in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, 09 March 2019. The Alumni Relations Office kindly appeals to all UFH Alumni who will be attending the funeral on Saturday to wear the UFH Alumni Blazer in honour of this fallen alumnus.