There is probably not a person in Lenasia or the entire country who has not heard or seen the Lenasia Muslim Brigade (LMB) marching band in action.
The LMB who have become the icons of Lenasia, garner huge crowds whenever they march or parade.
Lenasians from all walks of life, irrespective of race, religion, creed or colour line the streets whenever the band is marching.
The LMB has a rich cultural diversity and history that is entrenched in the hearts of many people including this writer who is one of the greatest supporters of the band, their work and love for the community and whose father the late Ahmed Patel from Fietas was a good friend of the founder of the band Ahmed ‘Bhai’ Makda.
The Lenasia Muslim Brigade was formed in 1971 by the late Ahmed ‘Bhai’ Makda with close family associates including late Ebrahim Rassool and Moosa Kara, the current Brigade president.
The brigade is currently being led by Goolam Rasool and supported by the current executive crew Moosa Kara, Imran Makda, Zunaid Kara and Ismail Williams.
The aim and vision of the Lenasia Muslim Brigade is to encourage the youth to get involved in community projects and work, deterring them from bad habits and many other vices and distractions the world throws at them on a daily basis.
The late Bhai Makda was a phenomenal stalwart of the LMB strengthening the values and leading the band over many years with true determination, dedication and support from the Lenasia community.
The LMB has not only been confined to the Lenasia community but has become synonymous throughout the country with its true spirit of Ubuntu.
While the LMB has conducted many parades, there are some that stand out.
In the late 1980’s and 1990’s the LMB was contracted to Gold Reef City in Ormonde near Johannesburg for processions within the theme park every weekend.
The LMB also achieved phenomenal success for many years during the annual Durban Tattoo in 1990’s with organizers only recruiting a very high standard of play by bands.
Sadly, in the early 2000’s founder Bhai Makda passed away leaving many of his friends, the Lenasia community and every member who donned the maroon, white and gold uniform heart-broken and shattered.
Despite the tragic passing of Bhai Makda, the LMB continue to strive in keeping his legacy alive and the bands flag flying high.
The LMB is the cultural heritage of Lenasia and even after 51 years continue to keep the Lenasia and many other communities across the country entertained with a noticeable and distinct heritage of late Bhai Makda’s son, grandsons, nephew, and loyal members who are part of the band and regarded as the ‘Brigade family’.
So, next time when you hear the melodious tunes and see the band marching down your street in Lenasia, be among the hundreds who line the road and give them a wave, because they the really strive to uplift the Lenasia and many other communities, a place many call home.