Friends and colleagues of the late broadcasting great Xolani Gwala have been sharing their heartfelt messages and memories of the beloved man.
Gwala, fondly known as XG or Mphephethwa, lost his battle to cancer on Friday morning at the age of 44.
Fellow broadcaster and long-time friend Redi Tlhabi says her friendship with Xolani lasted more than 20 years and never wavered.
While it's difficult for her to accept that she'll never hear his infectious laugh again, she says she's relieved that XG is no longer in pain.
Tlhabi witnessed how Xolani became the source of courage for so many people around him throughout his battle with the disease.
The last couple of months were hard, but he was fighting. He never gave up, he never disengaged from life.— Veteran broadcaster Redi Tlhabi
I remember when he was having chemo last year in Morningside, he was like the motivational speaker for everyone around him.— Veteran broadcaster Redi Tlhabi
In the last couple of weeks, he said it was not in his hands anymore. And it wasn't.— Veteran broadcaster Redi Tlhabi
702 programme manager Alastair Teeling-Smith says the warmth and love shown by the station's listeners has been overwhelming.
Teeling-Smith says Xolani had a presence about him and demonstrated great gravitas and integrity.
He was more than just a broadcaster... He was always about making a difference.— Alastair Teeling-Smith, Programme manager - 702
Xolani was one of those very rare people who can be with the president and someone who is cleaning his car and treat them with the same respect, the same warmth.— Alastair Teeling-Smith, Programme manager - 702
He was a person with the utmost integrity.— Alastair Teeling-Smith, Programme manager - 702
Other fellow broadcasters and friends including Koketso Sachane, Phemelo Motene, Jenny Crwys-Williams and Relebogile Mabotja have also shared their tributes.
Listen to the moving tributes on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:
When he was fighting his own battle to stay alive, Xolani Gwala used the mic to inspire, to advocate for early diagnoses of cancer and highlight how expensive and out of reach the treatment was for the poor. He was an amazing human. #RIPXolaniGwala— Mahlatse Mahlase (@hlatseentle) November 1, 2019
When he came back after some time off, we had such hope— Cindy Poluta (@CindyPoluta) November 1, 2019
Today my heart is so shattered 💔
Always smiling. Always laughing - even when he started fighting the battle and didn't tell any of us.
We missed you every day and will always miss you
Hamba Kahle #RIPXolaniGwala@Radio702 pic.twitter.com/n0tmhtWDd5
Robala ka kgotso abuti wa ka. You were a great colleague and friend. An inspiration and big brother. Re leboha botho ba hao, hlompho ya batho, lerato la sechaba.— Azania (@Azania_) November 1, 2019
Re pheha ka lemina #RIPXolaniGwala
I’ve never experienced the loss of a dear friend like you Mphephetwa. A friend who came into my life during a difficult time for me, and changed my life, a friend who impacted on me in so many ways, and a friend who gave me a chance. I miss you now, and always #RIPXolaniGwala— Jonathan Fairbairn (Khabazela) (@Jonoloud) November 1, 2019
South Africa has lost an exceptional son. I’m going to miss your humility, your infectious laugh, generosity & your passion. You taught me to celebrate life. It was privilege to have known you XG. I’m broken, my heart is shattered. Condolences to the Gwala family. #RipXolaniGwala— Aki Anastasiou (@AkiAnastasiou) November 1, 2019
BRO!!! 🤯😢 The fight you put up was nothing short of admirable!! You were always selfless and wanting to BE the difference!!! Broadcasting has lost a titan!! Till we meet again 💔 #RIPXolaniGwala pic.twitter.com/l9HNiCMD5y— DJ Fresh (Big Dawg) (@DJFreshSA) November 1, 2019
Devastating news.— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) November 1, 2019
RIP Xolani Gwala.
You were a brilliant broadcaster, a kind human being with an affable smile, always.
Condolences to your family and friends.
Rest in peace, my colleague. pic.twitter.com/5HiQjdNI7J