The Manhattan Brothers - Vuka Vuka
The Manhattan Brothers was a popular South African singing group in the 1940s and 1950s, from Ladysmith, a town in the Uthukela District of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Members of the group included Joe Mogotsi, Ronnie Sehume, Rufus Khoza, the late Nathan Mdledle, and Miriam Makeba a South African singer, actor, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist, and Joe Mogotsi.
Led by well respected Afro jazz legend Nkosinathi (Nathi) Hadebe, the group consisted at various times, of four to six vibrant and awesomely talented members, including Vusmuzi (Vusi) Madondo, Lindokuhle (Ndo) Makathini, Fanizile (Jeffrey), Nzuza, Bongani Mabaso, Lungisani Mhlongo, Thabo Motsamai--and following the passing of two founding members, reformed in 2012 to "take a stand" in memory of their mentors and beloved former members bringing in new members to complement the existing lineup.
With the approval of Miriam Makeba and Joe Mogotsi, they formed a tribute band called Junior Manhattan Brothers (JMB)
Blending traditional, gospel, Afro Jazz, jive, doo-wop, swing ragtime and any other musical genre they could incorporate, with or without musical accompaniment they are able to collectively bring the house down in seconds. The JMB was also instrumental in the artistic and musical aspects of the local movie starring Taye Diggs, Drum (2004).
Contractual restrictions were cited as being a constant barrier between the JMB and worldwide success, with extensive interest from promoters in the US and Australia. And to date, vandalism of their intellectual property continues. This has not damped their spirits, nor will it stop them from upholding their promises to Ms. Makeba and both Nathi and Vusi.
In between JMB performances and their collective years with Soweto Gospel Choir/Iphi Ntombi, the JMB performed for, and with, the remaining members of the original Manhattan Brothers outfit and just prior to the passing of Joe Mogotsi, the JMB were hallmarked for greatness and international acclaim. Nathi began his memoirs just prior to his death and a biography and biopic are planned in the near future.
The Manhattan Brothers never wandered from their spiritual roots. They did work with the Soweto Gospel Choir/Iphi Ntombi. The JMB performed for, and with, the remaining members of the original Manhattan Brothers outfit. Just prior to the passing of Joe Mogotsi, the JMB were hallmarked for greatness and international acclaim. Joe Mogotsi died on 19 May 2011 in Johannesburg, following a long illness