Robbie Malinga remembered

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The funeral of the late Afro-pop singer, songwriter and producer, Robbie Malinga, is underway at Rhema Church in Randburg.

Malinga, 49, died on Christmas Day at home after battling cancer for several months.

The gravel-voiced crooner was a highly-decorated South African Music Award winner, taking home top honours including Best Producer for his own projects as well as recordings he either composed, arranged, produced or sang in. In some cases, he would do all four as a mark of his versatility and talent.

As a producer, he contributed to shaping the careers of artists like Zahara, Brickz, Brown Dash, Kabelo Mabalane, Arthur Mafokate, Ntando, Nhlanhla Nciza, Izinyoka, Mzekezeke and Sbu of Amalawyer fame. He helped discover Malaika.

Robbie worked with Lebo M to remix Lion King to Umhlaba Wabantu for local audiences. He also produced Bhakaniya, the Orlando Pirates theme song for their 70th anniversary celebrations.

He also lent his magic to superstar group Stimela, the late great Jabu Khanyile and gospel veteran Deborah Fraser.

Some of his more recent hits include duets with musicians Naima Kay with the songs Sokwenzenjani and Sweetie Lavo, Kelly Khumalo with Sobabili and Baby Please, Musa Sukwene with Mthande and Karabo Mogane with the song Sondela.

President Jacob Zuma last week joined South Africans in celebrating his life.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a talented artist. This is indeed a huge loss for South Africa and the music industry as a whole. We are with his family in thought and prayer during this trying period. May his soul rest in peace,” President Zuma said.

The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) has described Malinga as one of the best this country has ever produced.

“His death is a definite end of an era and a sound we will not forget soon. What a devastating loss. We can never tell the South African music story without giving him a prominent mention,” said RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi. -

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