Themba Mntambo (born 1966), best known as Shaluza Max, was a visionary artist, composer, producer, and arranger. He was an internationally acclaimed songwriter and singer. As a singer, he is best known for Amaginsa, Mangase, and Isigwadi.

Max was prominent for contributing to the local and international music scene. The singer’s music genre was maskandi and jazz. Music lovers lauded him for his music brand.

Shaluza Max
Shaluza Max biography
Shaluza Max Mntambo passed away on 3 January 2014.
Quick Facts
Full Name:Themba Mntambo
Other Names:Shaluza Max
Place of Birth:Kwa-Mashu, Durban
Died:3 January 2014 (age 47 years)
Place of Death:Dundee Provincial Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal
Nationality:South African
Occupation:Visionary artist, composer, producer, arranger, songwriter
Genre:maskandi, Jazz
Cause of Death:Kidney failure

Early Life

Shaluza Max was born Themba Mntambo in 1966 in Kwa-Mashu township, Durban, South Africa. Growing up, Max developed interest in music and joined classical choirs at fourteen, where he started vocal training. 


Shaluza Max was the co-writer and co-producer of the soundtrack of Jock of the Bushveld. The musician gained more praises overseas than in the local circle.

The maskandi singer toured the world with the cast of Sarafina at the age of twenty.

Max worked and collaborated with many prominent artists in the music scene. He collaborated with Busi Mhlongo, Moses Molelekwa, Sipho Gumede, Zim Ngqawana, and Wendy Mseleku.

Shaluza belonged to the collective Barungwa – The Messengers. In 2000, the legendary musician dropped his first solo album, Kusile. After three years, he dropped another titled Impilo in 2003.

The thirteen tracks album, Impilo, was a nominee for a South African Music Award. Most of its tracks are new and original material.

In 2005, Max released the Best of Shaluza Max album, which housed sixteen of his big hits.

Personal Life


Themba Mntambo was married to Nomsa and survived by his wife, four children, and extended family. He has a nephew known as Lungelo Mntambo. He lived in western Europe for many years.

Cause of Death

The maskandi singer Shaluza Max Mntambo died of kidney failure after collapsing in his home on Thursday, 2 January 2014. The prominent songwriter died on Friday, 3 January 2014 at Dundee Provincial Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal. He was laid to rest in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal.



  • Impilo (2002)
  • Kusile (2000)


  • Mangase
  • Impilo / Life
  • Isigwadi
  • Push Skorokoro
  • Amaginsa
  • Amancamnce
  • Vinqo
  • Khando
  • Dance to Africa
  • Shumi Lemenyaka
  • Abangoma
  • Hloniphani
  • Capitalisimo
  • Thokgo
  • Amabhunu
  • Dumazile
  • Angilalanga
  • Amagwala
  • Nozizwe
  • Kuyashesha!!!
  • Hafi Deo
  • Inkamba Zika-Faro
  • Uzolalaphi?
  • Isiqalo
  • Isipheto
  • For You – My Dear Love
  • The Spirit of Moses Molelekwa
  • Izintombi Zilele Zowda
  • Impilo
  • Ngidilile Ngisuthi