Lemmy Mabaso

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Lemmy "Special" Mabaso (1949-2018). "Pennywhistle" virtuoso and performer.


Born in Alexandra, he shot to fame at the age of 13 when he performed in the ground-breaking musical King Kong in 1959, playing, among others, one of the most recognizable tunes from the show, popularly know as the Penny Whistle Kwela. This led to a world no 1 hit, a Royal Command Performance, and an introduction to the Queen. He joined The Soul Brothers who were invited to play in Oslo, Norway, when former South African presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

He performed with the African Jazz Pioneers at the Grahamstown Festival in 1994.

He died in Soweto, Johannesburg, in April 2018, aged 69.


Coplan, David B. 2008.

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