One man’s gospel through jazz

Saxophinist Lebogang Ramagaga PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

Famous composer and musical prodigy, Ludwig van Beethoven, once said: “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.”
One saxophonist from Bloemfontein, Lebogang Ramagaga, says there is an element of truth to this. He finds that he speaks to God through his contemporary gospel jazz compositions.

Saxophinist Lebogang Ramagaga

While he admits that he can play just about any music genre, from house to hip-hop, playing gospel feels like home to him.
“My parents divorced while my sibling and I were quite young. This led to my mother being a single parent and she did not work. We lived in a one-room shack and often she had to struggle to make ends meet for us,” Ramagaga says.
Despite these hardships, as Ramagaga relates the story of his life, it is pretty evident that while he talks to God through his music, God responds through the people he places in his life. Ramagaga reveals that over two weeks ago, he met Sijadu Potelwa, who lives in Pretoria and works as a Financial Analyst for National Treasury.
“He said he saw my videos on my YouTube channel and he then booked a bus for me to go to record his gospel single, titled “Fateng sa Golgotha” (translated Tree in Golgotha), in Pretoria because he believed that much in me,” Ramagaga says.
However, Potelwa says upon discovering Ramagaga’s music and circumstances, he felt obliged to do his part in making sure that he in one way or another helps the young man’s talent become recognised. “What especially blew me away was the fact that he knows how to play the saxophone and yet, he does not own one. He relies on people around him to borrow it to him and with every opportunity he has, he makes the best of that moment,” Potelwa says.
The aspiring saxophonist says he is currently attending saxophone classes at the University of the Free State, where they allow him on occasion to take the saxophone home and practise at home. “My first encounter with this instrument was when I was eight years old.Along the way, the instrument died as it could not be fixed by music shops but my passion to play remained alive,” Ramagaga says.
While he says it is his dream to play the instrument professionally, at the moment he will appreciate any patron that will come forward and offer to help him as a manager or as someone that is willing to invest in his talent and hone his skills further.
Ramagaga can be reached on his mobile phone at 071-950-4413 or via email at

Pulane Choane