Robbie Malinga. PHOTO: Twitter
Cape Town - Afropop hitmaker Robbie Malinga was among the best musicians South Africa has produced and one of the most sought-after in the country, according to the Recording Industry SA (RiSA) chief executive, Nhlanhla Sibisi.

Malinga, 47, who suffered from anaemia, passed away on Christmas Day.

“To say Robbie Malinga’s death is a loss will be an understatement. A lot of musicians owe their successes to his magic touch as a producer, composer, arranger and vocalist,” said Sibisi.

“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.”

Malinga, from Meadowlands, Soweto, started his career in the 1990s, playing the keyboard for bubblegum musician Freddie Gwala of Amadamara fame and the group Platform 1. In a statement, RiSA extended its condolences to the Malinga family.

“We send our condolences to his family, especially his wife Ann and the two children. We also sympathise with Robbie’s collaborators and colleagues in the music business. Our hearts also go out to the legions of fans who Robbie has given countless soundtracks of their lives,” RiSA said.

President Jacob Zuma joined other South Africans on Tuesday in paying tribute to the late singer, songwriter and producer, Robbie Malinga.

“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 thoughts and prayers during this trying period. May his soul rest in peace,” Zuma said.

Former public protector advocate Thuli Madonsela and musician Lira were among the public figures to pay tribute to the musician. Madonsela tweeted: “Saddened by the passing of Robbie Malinga. Heartfelt condolences to family, friends and colleagues. #RIPRobbieMalinga.”

Musician Lira tweeted: “I was looking forward to seeing @RobbieMalinga on stage on January 1. South Africa has lost a legendary producer and musician. #RIPRobbie Malinga.”

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa tweeted: “Malinga’s musical genius was evident from the early years when he produced Doc Shebeleza’s kwaito classic, Gets Getsa.”