Ray Phiri lived his life to the fullest

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa told mourners at the funeral of the late musician Raymond ‘Chikapa’ Enock Phiri that he lived his life to the fullest and that he lived honestly and unflinchingly.

Phiri passed away last week after suffering from a lung cancer.

“He lived true to the place and people that birthed him, true to those who clothed him and taught him everything he knew. He lived true to this beautiful landscape of Mpumalanga with its mountains, ancient rocks, forests and rivers,” Minister Mthethwa said.

Speaking at the funeral service of on Saturday, Minister Mthethwa said Bra Ray, as Phiri was affectionately known, developed a consistent, authentic vision and stayed close to his roots.

President Jacob Zuma declared a special provincial official funeral for the legendary jazz musician.

“Even when, as an artist, he developed the musical traditions of earlier generations and made them speak to new times, he did so powerfully and in a way in which still showed respect, dignity and a close affinity to the culture of his motherland.

“He paid homage to his roots, to those who had travelled the road before him, and therefore, when he played his music, he himself felt at ease and at peace with what he presented to his audience,” the minister said. – SAnews.gov.za

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