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Thanda Gumede

Thandanani GumedeThanda's own website: https://www.thandamusic.co.uk/

Thanda Gumede founded Zulu Tradition and is their managing member. He is also the lead singer and songwriter of Ubunye, the Leeds-based, Zulu/British fusion jazz group. He is available for solo educational concerts and to lead choir performances when the Zulu Tradition and Ubunye schedules permit.

Born and raised in the townships of KwaZulu Natal, near Durban in South Africa he first came to the UK as a bright-eyed teen with Mighty Zulu Nation, but soon formed the co-operative, fair-trade Zulu Tradition, which he now manages as well as performs with. He's sung and danced for the royals at Buckingham Palace, at the British Museum for the first International Nelson Mandela Day, at the South African High Commission and on several occasions for the British Red Cross, including their Gala at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane produced by Angela Rippon. He has played concerts, events and festivals all over Great Britain as well as back home in his native South Africa.

Thanda GumedeThanda is available for school concerts and workshops and also to lead choir performances and workshops, and deliver workshops on performance, Zulu culture and language using traditional song, dance and drama. He builds his solo timetable around Ubunye and Zulu Tradition's schedule.

Educated and erudite, this young man devises Zulu Tradition's schools programme, and can offer a solo music, song and dance programme to cover:

  • Diversity awareness
  • Breaking down the barriers around prejudice
  • Ethnic, religious and racial equality
  • Community building
  • International understanding leading to local benefits

Thanda has a full DBS check.

When he gets the opportunity he also sings with his church's gospel choir.

Based in West Yorkshire when he's in the UK, Thanda will travel for engagements and can arrange educational performances, with one or two additional performers or with the full Zulu Tradition group depending on school budget and ambition.

(Pronounce Thanda as Tanda, the H is silent. It's short for Thandanani. Pronounce Gumede: Guh-may-deh)


Thandanani Gumede (2nd from right), Xolani Mbatha, Nokuthula Zondi, Bongi Gwala (vocals)/ Dave Evans (keyboards)/ Emma Johnson (tenor saxophone)/ Simon Dennis (trumpet)/ Nik Rutherford (guitar)/ Barry Ricarby (bass)/ Alex Wibrew (drums)


Imagine the raw power of African voices in harmony; the pounding rhythm of Africa blended with the explosive energy of a live band. This young and vibrant group of Zulu performers and seasoned musicians from UK reach back into the past to combine ancient tradition with contemporary flare. UBUNYE deliver a soulful- goose bump inducing-performance of original pieces cleverly fused with Southern African songs.

Some members of UbunyeLeft to right: Xolani Mbatha, Nokuthula Zondi, and Thandanani Gumede, members of both Zulu Tradition and the vocal powerhouse behind Ubunye.

Tour Dates

Thanda also sings for organisations, schools, choirs, weddings and private events. These are not all listed here. Please enquire for available dates. More dates booking now.



15th (Thanda solo)
Singing Workshop and Performance with Singing for Pleasure Choir, Otley, UK.

21st (Thanda solo)
Rodillian Academy Music sessions for the Rodillian Festival, Wakefield, WF3 3PS.

24th (Thanda solo)
Manchester Choir event


Henley Rugby Football Club, Dry Leas, Marlow Road, Henley on Thames, RG9 2JA.

5th - 9th March (Thanda solo)
Residency with Opera North, Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds,LS1 6NU, working on a collaborative Zulu Jazz project with a showcase (Zulu Tradition) on 9th (Arts Council Funded)

16th (Ubunye)
Wakefield Jazz Club, Eastmoor Road, Wakefield, WF1 3RR


7th (Zulu Trad)
Whalley Village Hall Concert (

19th (Ubunye)
Whorlton Village Hall, Barnard Castle (Rural touring scheme)

20th (Ubunye)
Frosterley Village Hall, Bishop Auckland (Rural touring scheme)

21st (Ubunye)
BURC, Spittal, Berwick on Tweed (Rural touring scheme)

22nd (Ubunye)
Melmerby Village Hall, Penrith (Rural touring scheme)


4th (Ubunye)
Ribble Valley Jazz Festival, Clitheroe, BB7 9TD


2nd (Zulu Trad)
Lewes, Sussex (Venue TBC)

3rd (Zulu Trad)
Apex Arts Centre, Bury St Edmunds

Tonicha Lawrence Academy Dance Showcase, 92 The Avenue, TLA, Gateways School, Leeds, LS17 9LD.

25th (Ubunye)
MBE Celebration, Leeds

Penn Hall, Vicarage Rd, Wolverhampton, WV4 5HP


Date in July TBC
Live performance at The Arrivals and Departures Project, in Leeds, UK.

Date in July TBC
Rodillian Festival, Live Performance, Wakefield, UK

Date in July TBC (Ubunye)
Album recording commences Leeds, UK)


11th - 18th (Zulu Trad)
Broadstairs Folk Week
Broadstairs, Kent

26th (Zulu Trad)
Gwyl Festival Ynysybwl, Nr Pontypridd


Date TBC in September
CJC Ft . Thanda live in Leeds


4th (Zulu Trad)
Derby Folk Festival

5th (Ubunye)
The Priestley, 04 Chapel Street, Bradford, BD1 5DL


Singing for Pleasure Choir, Performance & singing workshops in Otley, UK.

5th (Zulu Trad)
Lewes Bonfire Society Event
Lewes, W. Sussex

Singing for Pleasure Choir, Performance & singing workshops in Otley, UK.

Singing for Pleasure Choir, Performance & singing workshops in Otley, UK.

Singing for Pleasure Choir, Performance & singing workshops in Otley, UK.

Singing for Pleasure Choir, Performance & singing workshops in Otley, UK.


Date TBC in December
TLA Anniversary Showcase, 92 The Avenue, LS17 9LD.



13th (Zulu Trad)
Northwrite (Venue TBC)