South African Afro-pop star Robbie Malinga  Picture: Instagram
South African Afro-pop star Robbie Malinga Picture: Instagram
The final tribute performance by Musa Sukwene singing the hit song produced by Robbie Malinga. Picture: Nokuthula Zwane
The final tribute performance by Musa Sukwene singing the hit song produced by Robbie Malinga. Picture: Nokuthula Zwane
MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Faith Mazibuko giving her keynote address at Grace Bible Church. Picture: Nokuthula Zwane
MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Faith Mazibuko giving her keynote address at Grace Bible Church. Picture: Nokuthula Zwane
Kwaito music legends Spikiri and Jakaramba. Picture: Nokuthula Zwane
Kwaito music legends Spikiri and Jakaramba. Picture: Nokuthula Zwane

Johannesburg - Friends and family of one of Africa's greatest music producers described Robbie Malinga as the best and true to his talent until the last day. 

Over one thousand people gathered at Grace Bible Church in Soweto to celebrate the life of the family man, mentor, friend and businessman. 

Shadrack Ndlovu, music industry colleague to the late music icon, said he learnt much from Malinga.

“Robbie was very ambitious. What he (Malinga) like to say to me, "I refuse to be defeated because I have a gift," said Ndlovu. “Robbie took music very seriously. The one place were he would find joy was through music.” 

Malinga's son, Robbie Jnr, took to the podium and gave a brief speech. 

He said: "My dad was the best in Africa". 

In an unconventional memorial service, Malinga's programme was a jam-packed performance with items from individuals who contributed to his career. 

Local musicians and music executives all gathered in style to pay tribute to a man who loved his life with soul and humour. 

Local celebrities Aurther Mafokate, Spikiri, Zahara, Universal Music representive Sipho Dlamini, Touch Africa representive Mdu Ngcobo and TS Records executive Sbusiso ‘Dj Sbu’ Leope all described Malinga as a 'people person' who live for music. 

Dj Sbu said: “Robbie was the greatest african music producer of all time and we should not forget that". 

Government officials present to tribute a music icon, ANC former Spokersperson Zizi Kodwa, Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi, Bhuti Kgwaridi Manameli Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, and MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Faith Mazibuko who represented the province with the keynote address. 

Mazibuko gravely apologised to all the South Africans musicians and artists in the country for failing to recognise them. "It is a fact that artists are forever vulnerable," said Mazibuko. 

“The issue of social security is one of the things that has to be raised by yourself (artists), which through the Department of Labour they have already taken it seriously,” Mazibuko added. 

Malinga is not the first local musician who has passed away in the last couple of months due to medical complications. 

In January, the industry lost the sounds of award-winning gospel singer Lundi Tyamara who died of stomach TB and liver complications. 

In July, legendary musician Ray Phiri succumbed to lung cancer at Nelspruit MediClinic.

Malinga passed away on Christmas Day from pancreatic cancer stage four. 

Malinga will be laid to rest on Tuesday on January 2 at Rhema Bible Church at 8am. 

[email protected]inl.co.za 

The Star