Mzansi Celebs

“I’m only saving money for my death”: says Jazz legend Madala Kunene

The 66-year-old musician told our source that despite his love for music, he was not making enough money from it to live the lifestyle people thought musicians enjoyed.”At least new artists are getting money from music because we didn’t get much money. I live hand-to-mouth. I educate my kids with the little money that I get so it’s very hectic for me. I don’t have money in the bank, I only save for my funeral cover so that when I die, I can bury myself. I won’t quit music because it’s my life,” he said.

Jazz legend Madala Kunene may have 11 albums under his belt and has been in the industry for over 40 years, but he says that he is living “hand-to-mouth” and can now only afford to save for funeral cover to bury him when he dies.

Madala Kunene

He claimed that music veterans were being ignored by the industry today when they had valuable skills and advice that could make SA music better.

“There was a guy who was called Professor in the music industry who is at home in KwaZulu-Natal now doing nothing. He is not recognised and I have realised that artists are ignored. Caiphus Semenya, Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba were gone from home for a long time, but when they returned they are still not appreciated. We should have academies run by Hugh Masekela and Caiphus Semenya,” he added.

Madala was only a child when his parents were forcefully removed from their home by the apartheid government and relocated to KwaMashu in Durban. The memory stayed with him throughout his life and served as the inspiration for his album 1959.

“Our house was demolished and we were homeless. Wwe lost furniture, clothes and other things. They were eventually forced to go to KwaMashu. When they got there, they were given a four-roomed house, but were told to share the house with four families. One room had 13 family members and luckily I was with my grandmother in the other room.”

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