Mourners rock for ‘gentle giant’ Eddie

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IOL gallery zondi funeral done.JPG.JPG THE STAR A little boy walks past the raised coffin of Eddie Zondi at the funeral service. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - The R&B tunes that rang out in the hall at the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) Soweto campus on Sunday were a fitting send-off for Eddie Makhosonke Zondi, a man some say was responsible for them tying the knot and keeping romance alive.

Among those paying tribute to Zondi was fellow Metro FM presenter and sports anchor Robert Marawa, who ended his tribute with a medley of songs he said reminded him of the “gentle giant”.

He described Zondi as a humanitarian, a lover of life, and someone who wanted everyone to love and feel loved.

“The reason why we’re all here… ladies and gentlemen is because there was a certain song that reminded you of Eddie Zondi.

“I want you to rock Eddie right now so that he feels your presence in this hall,” Marawa said before playing his musical dedication, which had everyone in the packed hall on their feet.

Family, friends, fans, politicians, and people from the broadcasting, entertainment and soccer fraternities who’d gathered to pay their last respect sang along and danced to the tunes for which Zondi’s Sunday show, Romantic Repertoire, was known and loved.

The hall didn’t have enough space for the hundreds of mourners, and many had to follow the proceedings from outside.

Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula, accompanied by Water Affairs and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, commended Metro FM for commemorating Zondi in the week after his death last Monday.

“Bra Eddie understood the spirit and power of music.

“In a society where we work to build families and relationships… he understood the power of music… and he used it quite eloquently and superbly. He used that to imbue us with the RDP of the soul, the reconstruction and development of the soul,” Mbalula said.

SABC acting chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said Zondi had run his race and had run it well.

He promised the SABC would continue to unearth and nurture talent as it did with Zondi, and ensure that its talented employees were paid well.

“Those who want to attract talent, they should just forget (it) because we have put measures in place and we’re also paying them… including myself and others.”

It was important that the children of those who died continued to be taken care of, Motsoeneng added.

“I think we should have a trust to help the kids of Eddie Zondi and others so that they can go to school, because the only person who can work without (a) matric (certificate) is Hlaudi,” he said.

“For me, it is important for (the) SABC family to have this trust to look after the kids…

“I think all of us should contribute to (set up) that trust, colleagues. I’m going to make sure that trust is there,” Motsoeneng said.

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