Arts, Culture & Heritage

Tribute to Kippie Moeketsi

Last Updated: July 30, 2023
Artist

Guy du Toit and Egon Tania

A Brief History

The sculpture commemorates one of South Africa’s greatest jazz musicians — saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi. Born in George in 1925, Moeketsi was most famously a member of the Jazz Epistles, together with three other giants of South African jazz: Dollar Brand/Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwangwa.In contrast to many of his contemporaries, he remained in South Africa during the height of apartheid repression, and died penniless in 1983 after a long struggle with alcohol abuse. The location of the sculpture is in front of what used to be a jazz club, built in 1987 by the Market Theatre and funded by Mining Conglomerate Clive Mennel (a jazz-lover).

Description

Bronze cast sculpture depicting a seated Moeketsi who is holding a saxophone in his right hand, sitting next to an empty chair.

This representation of the seated Moeketsi next to an empty chair is a subtle reference to the loneliness and depression that characterised the latter years of Moeketsi’s life. The additional chair now functions as an invitation to passers-by to seemingly keep the spirit of the deceased saxophonist company.

Artwork Signage

The sculpture commemorates one of South Africa’s greatest jazz musicians — saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi. Born in George in 1925, Moeketsi was most famously a member of the Jazz Epistles, together with three other giants of South African jazz: Dollar Brand/Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwangwa.In contrast to many of his contemporaries, he remained in South Africa during the height of apartheid repression, and died penniless in 1983 after a long struggle with alcohol abuse. The location of the sculpture is in front of what used to be a jazz club, built in 1987 by the Market Theatre and funded by Mining Conglomerate Clive Mennel (a jazz-lover).

Location & Address

Pedestrian walkway between Miriam Makeba Street and the extension of Gwigwi Mrwebi Street. Immediately to the south of what used to be Kippies, the jazz club in the Market Theatre precinct — along the pedestrian area.