The musician’s sudden passing was confirmed to Sunday World by his sister Khululiwe Sithole. She said her brother was riding in an Uber with a friend when he started to complain about his struggle to breathe.
Sithole said to Sunday World, “When I heard about my brother’s passing this morning, I was deeply heartbroken. The whole family is shuttered because it is not like he was sick, it was just a sudden thing.”
“He was working on Sarafina just last week, and I have been thinking about his music, then he is suddenly not with us,” she continued.
"At the time of his death he had no place to stay and we either turned a blind eye or did not investigate enough how we could help him. I also tried as best as I could to help 1,000 but Mthandeni was mostly his own enemy." https://t.co/kbY5YbHq1x
— TshisaLIVE (@TshisaLIVE) July 22, 2022
Mvelase was behind the creation of some of the most sonic sounds in this country which include the music of Township Fever and Muvhango. He was also a music director of some of the most celebrated on-stage performances such as How Long and the Bambata Rebellion live at Megamusic.
Mvelase first came into the spotlight when he joined Mbongeni Ngema’s Township Fever. He travelled to the United States with the production and in 1987, upon his return, he played with a variety of musicians as both a backup and musical director.
He wrote, recorded, and worked with a number of musicians including Jabu Khanyile, Khululiwe Sithole, Lindelani Mkhize, Sipho Sithole, Faca Kulu, Shabalala Rhythms, Themba Mkhize, Sibongile Khumalo, Zuluboy, just to mention a few.
A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Mvelase carved his music career in a music outfit called The Goings in Umlazi township which he formed together with Lindelani Mkhize on drums and Sandile Dlamini on guitar.
The music industry has once again lost one of the greatest talents to come from these shores.