The PE Opera House is hosting a tribute to music legend Kholekile “Doc” Mkhonto, with three choirs singing at his benefit concert on Sunday afternoon.
Mkhonto, 70, will also conduct a musical of his own at the 2.30pm show in the main auditorium. The multi-award winning doyen of choral music is a respected teacher whose students have included Dr Mthuthuzeli Nyoka and former SABC Eastern Cape general manager Zola Yeye.
“I am satisfied that I have done what I was called to do from 1969. Now I am just helping where I can,” Mkhonto modestly said of the tribute. “Seeing my pupils Zola Yeye, Nceba Faku, Mkhuseli Jack and others in high places makes me feel accomplished [as a teacher]”.
Having retired from the Department of Education in 2006 after 36 years in the field, he has since opened his school of music where he teaches young children music, drama and how to play a variety of musical instruments.
“The idea [to open the school] was inspired by the love of music black people have, but there are no music schools,” he said.
“At the time there were no primary schools offering music school but strangely there were four high schools offering it as a subject.”
Mkhonto runs the school while he simultaneously teaches creative arts and isiXhosa at Edu-College. He is also in charge of the intermediate phase choir at the private school.
Liberating Voices authors Zelda Potgieter and Vuyani Mazomba said of the legend: “Mkhonto is part of choral narrative strategies with underlying prevailing socio-political discourse that may be said to typify township choral music as a whole.
“This prevailing discourse may be understood as the profound yearning amongst the people of the township to address their far- reaching sense of loss, a call for the ‘return of Africa’, and thus for a deep and long-lasting solution to the social problems of our society,” they write.
The event will be held at the main auditorium of the Opera House. Entrance is free but donations to Mkhonto are welcome.
For more information contact Cingiwe Skosana on (041) 585-1300.