S. C. Molefe

Short Name: S. C. Molefe
Full Name: Molefe, S. C. (Stephen Cuthbert), 1917-1987
Birth Year: 1917
Death Year: 1987

Stephen Cuthbert Molefe (1917-1987)--

Since most African languages are tonal, a melodic shape emerges directly from speaking the text. Stephen Molefe was among the first South African musicians that Fr. Dargie worked with in these workshops.

Molefe was born of Sotho descent in the Transkei area of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. A choirmaster at the Catholic Church, he was not only a skilled musician but also fluent in a variety of South African languages including Sotho, Xhosa, Zulu, Tswana, Afrikaans and English.

Fr. Dargie met Molefe in 1977 at a composition workshop and transcribed a number of his works into staff notation. They include a wide variety of musical styles, “Masithi-Amen” being among the simplest.

The 1977 workshop netted 53 new songs, 14 of which were composed by Molefe. The original version was “Sive-sithi Amen, siyakudumisa” (“Hear us we say, Amen, we praise you”). Designed to be sung as the “Amen” at the conclusion of the Great Thanksgiving (the Eucharist liturgy), it was an instant hit, with the whole parish singing it at Holy Week services. “Amen, Siakudumisa” is included very often in Western hymnal collections alongside famous South African freedom songs like “Siyahamba.”

In 1978, Molefe was attacked, robbed and struck with a brick to the head. He started to go blind after that, and was unable to work again. Molefe died in 1987.


Texts by S. C. Molefe (4)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
Amen siakudumisa (Amen sing praises to the Lord)S. C. Molefe (Author (attributed to))English, Xhosa3
Amen, we praise your name, O God (Amen, siakudumisa)S. C. Molefe (Africa), 1921-83 (Author)English, Xhosa8
Come with sounds of thankful praiseS. C. Molefe (Author)English, Xhosa2
Amen, siakudumisa! S. C. Molefe (Author)English, Xhosa2
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