Sello ontwedi

Legendary drummer and the last living member of Sankomota, Sello Montwedi, has passed away. Image via Twitter @sam_turpin

RIP Sello Montwedi: Honorary salute to Sankomota drumming legend

Sello Montwedi, the last living member of the legendary Sankomota band, has passed away at the age of 59.

Sello ontwedi

Legendary drummer and the last living member of Sankomota, Sello Montwedi, has passed away. Image via Twitter @sam_turpin

South African drummer and the last living member of the legendary band, Sankomota, Sello Montwedi, passed away on Friday 19 August. According to Daily Sun, Montwedi had not been well since 1996 when he was involved in a car accident in which four Sankomota band members were killed.

His wife, Gaontese, told the publication that he had been in and out of the hospital. He was 59 at the time of his death.

Montwedi started playing the drums as a young boy and played alongside Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse in the 1980s before joining Sankomota. As per a biography by journalist Sam Mathe, Montwedi shared the stage with some of SA’s brightest musicians including Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo and Moses Molelekwa.

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Sello Montwedi’s death was confirmed by his manager Mark Roth, who told Daily Sun that he died at his home in Klerksdorp, North West. The legendary drummer’s wife, Gaontese, said the 1996 car accident which killed four of his band mates, had badly affected him as he was in and out of the hospital.

“He was fine after that but on Friday, he fell sick and complained about his left hand side,” said Gaontese.

“It looked like he was having a stroke because his face was also affected. He was rushed to hospital, but it was too late. By the time we got there, he had already passed on.”

Montwedi’s funeral service will take place on Saturday 27 August.


Remembering his close friend and colleague, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse said he met Sello Montwedi in the early 1980s. The Burn Out hitmaker described Montwedi as a “disciplined workaholic and talented vocalist”.

“He came in as a backing vocalist but I asked him to play drums as well, so he would sing and play at the same time. He later established himself and that was when he started Bayede and later joined Sankomota,” said Hotstix.

Montwedi’s death comes after his Sankomota bandmate, Tsepo Tshola, passed away in July 2021. Tshola was hospitalised after contracting COVID-19. Sankomota is best known for the tracks, Papa, Now or Never, Stop The War and Monoana.


According to a biography by Sam Mathe, here are a few facts about Sello Montwedi.

  • Sello Montwedi is a primary self-taught drummer
  • He was a part of Sankomota’s classic album, After the Storm, released in 1993
  • As a solo artist, Montwedi collaborated with the likes of Sipho Gumede, Tsepo Tshola, Moses Molelekwa Hugh Masekela and more
  • In 2017, he received a top honour Backing Vocalists and Session Musicians Awards