Explore Why Google Birthday Surprise Spinner Doodle & Celebrates Remarkable South African Jazz Musician Todd Matshikiza

Team Gadgetshacker
9 Min Read

Google Birthday Surprise Spinner released a Doodle on Monday as an honor to South African jazz pianist, journalist, composer, Todd Matshikiza. 

He was one of the most significant forerunners of South Africa’s Arts and Culture, who died at the age of 47 in 1968. 

Google Birthday Surprise Spinner

Google created the interactive Google Birthday Surprise Spinner in 2017 to commemorate the company’s own 19th birthday. It resembled an internet invitation to a birthday celebration. The Spinner has a colorful wheel that you could spin to choose from 19 different games or activities to engage in.

Why Important was Matshikiza to Google

Todd Matshikiza was born on 7th March 1921, into a musical family background in Queenstown, South Africa. His father, a renowned organist and his mother was a vocalist. His father taught him and his six siblings to play piano. From St. Peter’s College in Johannesburg, Matshikiza earned a music and teaching diploma.

Following graduation, he worked as a math and English teacher while working on chorus compositions and songs like “Hamba Kahle.” The Todd Matshikiza School Of Music was eventually established by the maestro in 1947. He focused on teaching piano and jazz music. Although, he worked as a salesman and a book-keeper at night because this did not produce a consistent income. 

In addition to all of this, Matshikiza became a member of the first batch of writers for the Drum music publication. Two of his columns were composed: one on the evolution of the jazz genre and the other on daily life in the township. Both columns were extremely well-liked.

He is best known for his music, which includes the song “Quick in Love,” which was featured in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” as well as the musicals “Mkhumbane” and “King King.” Out of all of his career accomplishments.

Matshikiza’s Life In England

Matshikiza landed to England in 1960 to flee the South Africa’s Apartheid system. As per his autobiography, Chocolates for My Wife, he describes his entire journey to South Africa. At the time, London seemed like the greatest option because his musical King Kong, which told the story of heavyweight fighter Ezekiel Dlamini, also known by the nickname King Kong, was tremendously successful and ran on the West End in 1961.

Nevertheless, he did not accomplish much during his stay in England. The UK’s regional music scene was difficult for him to get into. Later, he moved to Zambia where he worked as a music archivist at the Zambian Information Service until his passing in 1968.

Outstanding Songs Written By Todd

The song “Quickly in Love,” written by Matshikiza, is well-known for its use in the 2013 movie “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” Additionally, he wrote the music for the plays “King Kong” and “Mkhumbane.” All-Black jazz musical “King Kong,” which had its world premiere in 1958, was a smash hit and even travelled to London. Equally well-known was “Mkhumbane” (1960), which had songs by Matshikiza and Alan Paton. 

READ MORE: David MacCallum ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E’ Star’s Miserable Death at 90 with Endearing Journey

Todd Matshikiza and His Remarkable Skills

google birthday surprise spinner

Todd Matshikiza

In London, Matshikiza was a pianist, independent journalist, and host of radio shows. He later moved to Zambia and worked there as a broadcaster and music archivist. In his autobiography, “Chocolates for My Wife” (1961), he discusses moving to London and the apartheid system in South Africa. Ireland, Iceland, the UK, Germany, and South Africa are all represented in Todd Matshikiza‘s Doodle.

When Matshikiza got a position as one of the genuine writers for Drum magazine, his two interests in journalism and jazz came together. His writings included a piece on the artistic talent and development of jazz and another one titled “With the Lid Off” that was devoted to township life. Several of his articles from the later column have been preserved in the publication “With the Lid Off: South African Insights for Home and Abroad 1959-2000.”

Cause of Matshikiza’s Death

It is not well known what exactly caused Todd Matshikiza’s death. IHowever, it can be said that he died on February 4, 1968, at the age of 46. There isn’t much information available about the specifics of the events surrounding his death, and they may not be well known.

Why Google Doodle for Celebrating Todd’s Honor?

Contributions of Todd Matshikiza to journalism and music has influenced South African Culture.  His songs are still praised for their rich emotional content and cultural impact. Generations of artists and journalists have been motivated by Matshikiza’s commitment to utilise his skills as a platform for social commentary and storytelling.

A tribute is offered by Google Doogle to introduce Matshikiza’s struggling life and his incredible talents to a board audience while also serving as a reminder of his enduring legacy. This article also highlights that, Google amplifies his contributions and makes sure that his name and narrative are seen by millions of people who may not be aware with his work by prominently displaying him on their homepage.

I hope that this Google Doodle educates people about the amazing story of Todd Matshikiza, that it brings honour to his legacy and contributions, and I hope people realise that the continent of Africa has an amazing amount of creativity, love, resilience, warmth, and radiant power and that our stories matter.

Google 25th Birthday

google birthday surprise spinner. google 25th birthday

On September 27, the world’s largest search engine company Google commemorated Google’s 25th birthday with a collection of its past logos. Although we at Google are focused on the future, birthdays can also be a moment for introspection, the company wrote in a blog post.

When Sergey Brin and Larry Page first met as doctoral students at Stanford University’s computer science department in the late 1990s, they both had the same goal in mind: to improve accessibility on the World Wide Web.

The two spent many hours creating a prototype for a superior search engine from their dorm rooms. They relocated the business to Google’s first workplace, a leased garage, as they made significant headway on the project. The blog entry said that Google Inc. was established on September 27, 1998.

Google stated that its aim has stayed the same: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” despite the fact that much has changed since 1998, including its logo as shown in today’s Doodle.

The statement thanked users for “evolving with them over the past 25 years” and said, “We can’t wait to see where the future takes us, together.”

Bottom Line

Trending Google Doodle of Todd Matshikiza is an evidence of his immense talent, constant commitmnet to justice, and everlasting influence on South African Journalism and musical industry. His compositions and writing have touched deeply to numerous people’s mind and heart. As we honour this exceptional artist, let us not forget his priceless achievements and the significant roles that journalism and music have in influencing society.

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Gadgetshacker Team is a dynamic and experienced entertainment editor with a passion for the world of cinema, music, TV, and arts and Games. With over 5 years in the entertainment industry, prakash has honed a keen eye for identifying trends, discovering new talent, and delivering compelling content that captivates audiences and enhances their experience on gadgetshacker.
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