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Sunduza Boys founder member Banda dies
11/12/2012 00:00:00
by Sheryleen Masuku I NewsDay
Great loss ... Sam Banda is dead

SAM Banda, founder member of Bulawayo-based Imbube group Sunduza Boys has died after a brief illness.

Banda succumbed to an undisclosed illness on Monday.

His group shot to stardom in the 1980s, becoming one of the first local groups to embark on international tours.

Renowned poet and musician Albert Nyathi mourned Banda saying: “I have lost one of my personal and closest friends.”

“I spoke to him yesterday (Sunday) when they told me that he was complaining of stomach pains. He was a close friend of mine. We went to perform at a function together in Beitbridge recently and he seemed to be in good health.

“I was shocked when I received a call last night from Jeys Marabini saying Banda was not feeling well. He said his tummy was swelling and this came as a great shock to me.”

Banda’s nephew Zenzo Hlaseka described his uncle as a great artist who was sociable.

“Sam was someone who was always joking and laughing with people,” he said.

“He was a comedian in a way. People used to call him ‘Dr Mahlaba’ because he was always joking.” Hlaseka said Banda’s death was sudden and they were yet to receive information about the exact cause of his death.

“It was a sudden death. We don’t have full information as yet,” he added.

An official from the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, William Nyandoro, said Banda’s death was a great loss to the arts fraternity.

“I met Banda in the 1990s and we worked well with him as the National Arts Council on various projects,”he said.

Burial arrangements are yet to be announced.

Besides working with Sunduza, Banda collaborated with different acts including Scotland’s Urban Dance Theatre.

He also choreographed the Sheffield Oratorius production of David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus at the University of Sheffield in 2002 working with Alan Eost, Mandla Sibanda and Philip Weiss, according to his biography.

Banda also worked closely with schools and youth projects in both the UK and Zimbabwe, teaming up with the UNDP for its “Artists against Poverty” at one point.


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