The Msinga-born artist‚ fondly known as Ndidane‚ died at a hospital in Dundee.
Gcwensa‚ also known as iThwasa Langempela‚ was part of popular group Amageza Amahle. He was also a solo artist who won nine South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMA) including Best Song of the Year‚ Best Selling Album and Best Composer of the Year.
His work was also recognised by Amantshontsho KaMaskandi Awards.
The 39-year-old was known for his humour and love for his family‚ the department said. He leaves behind his wife and children.
“It is always a tragedy when we lose one of our legendary artists who helped preserve and promote KZN’s diverse culture.
Gcwensa’s passing is a huge loss to the music industry‚ his music was enjoyed by both young and old‚” said head of department Sibongile Nzimande.
A delegation from the Department will visit the bereaved family this week.