Gobingca George Mxadana (OIS)

A native of Soweto and graduate of London’s Royal School of Music, in 1982, Gobingca George Mxadana (OIS) founded the world-famous Imilonji KaNtu Choral Society. An ensemble rooted in South Africa’s struggle for equality, Imilonji provided comfort during the dark days of apartheid and joy in her transition to democracy, performing for the launch of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the ordination of Archbishop Desmond Tutu as Cape Town’s first black archbishop, the inauguration ceremonies of both President Nelson Mandela and President Thabo Mbeki, the 1995 Rugby World Cup finals and the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996. In 2003, Mxadana established the Mzantsi Traditional Orchestra, South Africa’s first orchestra aimed at conserving traditional instruments, song and dance. Its first performance was at the opening of Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg, on the occasion of Madiba’s birthday. The first black chairperson of the International Eisteddfod of South Africa, he serves as chair of the Old Mutual/Telkom National Choir Festival, deputy chair of the Arts and Culture Trust and a member of several music and cultural boards in the community, nationally and internationally.