Ray Phiri remembered as a "lightning rod figure" for SA music

As tributes pour in for jazz musician Ray Phiri, South African author Bongani Madondo has remembered him as the heart and soul of the great musical group Stimela and for his dance moves.

Phiri had been battling lung cancer and was being treated at a Nelspruit hospital when he passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

READ: Legendary jazz musician Ray Phiri dies at 70

WATCH: I will always remain in people's heads - Ray Phiri

Besides learning to play a variety of music instruments, including the guitar, piano and drums, the Mpumalanga born artist got his first break as a dancer for the Dark City Sister's in 1962.

He went on to establish the soul music group, the Cannibals in the 1970s before cementing his career with the gold- and platinum-winning Stimela.

He is the kind of artist you thought would be here forever so you can tell your daughters and sons and say I knew this old man. He changed my world.

Bongani Madondo, author

He has done a lot of of things, he was a guitarist, a vocalist but came into showbiz through dance. He joined a band called The Jabavu Queens and before that the Dark City Sister's... he could contort his body into strange shapes and we saw how dance became a major deal whilst he became a major star even before Graceland.

Bongani Madondo, author

Madondo says Phiri's father introduced him to music.

He was raised by different fathers, and went on to become great dad on his own, not only to his daughters and biological children but he fathered a whole lot of musicians. He was a guiding and lightning rod figure in the modern development of pop music from the 1970s until now.

Bongani Madondo, author

Executive director at the South African Music Education Trust, Shadrack Bokaba, spoke about the last 15 years of Phiri's work in the industry.

Ray was very focused on the music education side, we helped him establish the Ray Phiri Arts Institute. He was the sort of person who very in his later years was interested in seeing young people walk in his footsteps.

Shadrack Bokaba, Executive director at the South African Music Education Trust

I also had a chance to serve with him on the National Arts Council where he was very passionate about areas of redress.

Shadrack Bokaba, Executive director at the South African Music Education Trust

Bokaba says he last spoke to Phiri on Friday.

If you know Ray, he always talked about his mother who in the late 90's was approaching 100 and everyone expected him to take some genes from his mom because he looked so young. And so it comes as a shock when you hear such devastating news because I hoped he would pull out of it.

Shadrack Bokaba, Executive director at the South African Music Education Trust

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio....


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
No certainty if strange stone originates from outside the solar system

No certainty if strange stone originates from outside the solar system

In 2013 researchers announced the 'Hypatia' stone found in the south-west of Egypt, was most certainly not from Earth.

[LISTEN] ANC's proposed land expropriation explained

[LISTEN] ANC's proposed land expropriation explained

The Institute of Race Relations explains the confusion around the proposed amendment to Section 25 and how this affects property.

State Capture inquiry could be 'never-ending' if broadened - Karima Brown

State Capture inquiry could be 'never-ending' if broadened - Karima Brown

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has called for a broadening of the scope of the investigation into state capture.

Opinion: Give the country what investors want, confidence!

Opinion: Give the country what investors want, confidence!

702 host Ray White says the ANC's January 8 statement should mark the beginning of something new for South Africa.

WATCH: I will always remain in people's heads - Ray Phiri

WATCH: I will always remain in people's heads - Ray Phiri

The legendary jazz musician was battling lung cancer when he died on Wednesday morning.

 Legendary jazz musician  Ray Phiri dies at 70

Legendary jazz musician Ray Phiri dies at 70

The family has confirmed that he was battling lung cancer.

Popular articles
'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

Is biology putting the brakes on your sexuality? Callers share their experiences of sex and growing older.

'Some weed plants with high levels of chemicals have been linked to psychosis'

'Some weed plants with high levels of chemicals have been linked to psychosis'

Naked Scientist, Chris Smith shares his insights on some of the risks associated with smoking marijuana.

How to get rich by investing in smoking hot US and Canadian dagga shares

How to get rich by investing in smoking hot US and Canadian dagga shares

Returns of 500% are not unheard of. Is this another crypto-like bubble? Not in the least, says Financial Advisor Warren Ingram.

[Watch] Dad breaks down when reunited with car sold to pay wife’s bills

[Watch] Dad breaks down when reunited with car sold to pay wife’s bills

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone viral'.

'It is quite a milestone, it is a humbling experience'

'It is quite a milestone, it is a humbling experience'

Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi says being elected is a milestone not only for the women of SA but also for the women of Africa.

DStv Premium on a downward spiral, warns tech guru

DStv Premium on a downward spiral, warns tech guru

DStv has lost about 140 000 Premium subscribers to Netflix over the past two years, tech expert Arthur Goldstuck.

[LISTEN] 'Lesufi has been attacking Afrikaans schools since 2014'

[LISTEN] 'Lesufi has been attacking Afrikaans schools since 2014'

The Freedom Front Plus says the Gauteng Education MEC has flouted school language policies and is destroying Afrikaans.

'My daughter bought Spur shares when she was 10 years old' - Dr Adrian Saville

'My daughter bought Spur shares when she was 10 years old' - Dr Adrian Saville

What does Citadel’s famed disciple of contrarian, deep-value investing Dr Adrian Saville hope for (and fear) about money?