26 July 2004
Born in the predominantly Indian community of Cato Manor near Durban, Sipho Gumede started playing music on a homemade guitar. He joined his first band at the age of 16 and soon became a known and sought after bass player. In the course of his career he recorded 18 albums under his own name and four with his band Sakhile, formed together with Khaya Mhlangu and Mabi Gabriel Thobejane. He recorded and performed with Timmy Thomas, Kippie Moeketsi, Stimela, Margaret Singane, Abdullah Ibrahim, Winston Mankunku, Hugh Masekela, Brenda Fassie, Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu. He toured the America with Harry Belafonte and Mbulu and in 1992 won an OKTV award for the best African Fusion Album for his solo album " Thank you for Listening". In the 1990s Gumede collaborated with Paul Hanmer, Andy Narell, Wayne DeLano and Manny Rodriquez attracting acclaim and awards. By 2000 Sipho had moved back to KwaZulu-Natal, where he taught music and performed for young people from the townships. From his home recording studio, he produced a number of albums, his last being From Me To You and the 2004 Sakhile release, Togetherness. In 2004, the album Blues for my Mother went platinum. Reports of Gumede's age range from 47 to 53 years.