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Tributes poured in on radio, as well as social media, for Metro FM’s Romantic Repertoire DJ, Eddie Makhosonke Zondi, who died after he had complained of chest pains.
On Sunday, listeners were shocked and devastated when they found out about the broadcasting legend’s death.
Metro FM station manager Martin Vilakazi confirmed the news on air.
Metro communications manager Happy Ngidi said Zondi, 47, who had worked for the station for the past 18 years, was rushed to hospital after complaining of chest pains at his home in Ruimsig, Randburg, yesterday morning.
Zondi, whose favourite reference to himself on his shows was the phrase “Eddie Zondi baby”, presented the Romantic Repertoire on Sundays between 3pm and 6pm.
He also released four compilation CDs, entitled Zondi’s Romantic Ballads.
He was known for playing soothing, romantic songs.
The much-loved DJ died on his way to hospital.
Paying tribute to Zondi, Ngidi described him as a seasoned broadcaster and a legend.
She said Zondi’s death was not only a loss to his family, but for South Africa at large.
The Romantic Repertoire had 1.8 million listeners. This gave birth to the Sunday Soul Sessions, which later became big and established.
The Romantic Repertoire show’s hordes of fans sent their condolences on several social media networks.
Some of Zondi’s fans could not believe he had died.
An angry Facebook user, Mcvana Sive, wrote on his status, reprimanding those who had posted on Facebook that Zondi had died: “If this is true why so quiet about it. Stop spreading bad rumours.”
Another fan on Facebook wrote: “This must be a bad joke ne.”
The DA said it was saddened by Zondi’s passing.
“Zondi was a legend in the broadcasting industry and will be dearly missed. His contributions to the broadcasting and music industry will forever be remembered, and South Africa’s Sundays will never be the same.”
Zondi, who was born in Soweto, is survived by his wife Phakamile.
METRO FM DJ MOURNED
Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa on Monday conveyed his condolences to the family of Metro FM radio DJ Eddie Zondi.
“It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the sudden death of nationally renowned legendary radio broadcaster Eddie Makhosonke Zondi who died at the age of 47,” Mthethwa said in a statement.
Zondi, who presented the “Romantic Repertoire” on Sunday afternoons, died on Monday.
“We confirm as the SABC that we received the sad news that Eddie Zondi passed on this morning,” spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said.
The public broadcaster also sent its condolences to Zondi's family.
Kganyago could not confirm reports that the radio personality had suffered a heart attack.
Mthethwa described Zondi as a “national icon” and a “legendary broadcaster” who revolutionised broadcasting.
“Today scores of the new generation broadcasters at Metro FM and beyond have been inspired and affirmed by Zondi's unique talent, resilience and determination to use broadcasting to nourish the soul of the nation and lift his life to the greatest heights.”
He said Zondi was able to influence the musical taste at Metro FM “with lyrical content that tugged at the heart strings and emotions,” which increased the station's listenership.
“He was a rare but highly gifted and disciplined all-rounder who produced his own show, selected his playlist and gave a personal touch to his engagement with female listenership.
“His talent contributed to making Metro FM one of the biggest radio channels in the continent,” said Mthethwa.
The Economic Freedom Fighters also sent their condolences to Zondi's family on Monday.
“Radio will never be the same for lovers of R&B music,” EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.
“May his soul rest in perfect peace - the peace he managed to give others with his radio show for many years,” said Ndlozi.
@RediTlhabi: “No wait… Eddie Zondi? Oh no! Another young person dies of a heart attack. Sunday afternoon radio will never be the same.”
@CathyMohlahlana: “I can’t believe that Eddie Zondi has passed away. He made Sunday afternoons in boarding school so much better.”
@RomeoKumalo: “So very sad to hear about the passing of Eddie Zondi. He was an amazing talent with a wicked sense of humor. Hamba kahle bhakaniya.”
@Miss_LIRA: “So sad to hear of Eddie Zondi’s passing. He was a great supporter of my music. May his beautiful soul rest peacefully.”
@Eusebius: “Some of you were conceived with the help of bra Eddie Zondi.”
@NomvulaMokonyan: Having enjoyed your session yesterday even on tv, now hear that you no more? Death be not proud. Rest in Peace Bro Eddie Zondi!!
- The Star