Bob Mabena (July 26, 1969 – August 10, 2020) was a South African radio presenter who worked in the country’s media industry for more than 31 years, becoming one of the most well-known radio stars. He was married to Eucharist Hadebe from 2015 until his demise in August 2020, and they had a son together.
It is said that a man who lived well is known by his legacies long after he is gone. Thus, when the shocking news confirming the death of South African presenter Bob Mabena circulated the airwaves on August 10, 2020, tons of reactions and emotional tributes swamped social media platforms and news outlets.
While Bob Mabena’s death remains a shock to the South African entertainment industry, this article sheds more light on things most of his listeners did not know about the ace broadcaster cum host who made impacts on media houses such as Metro FM, Khaya FM, Highveld Stereo, and Power 98.7.
Summary of Bob Mabena’s Biography
- Full name: Kgomotso Bob Mabena
- Gender: Male
- Date of birth: July 26, 1969
- Died: August 10, 2020
- Ethnicity: African
- Nationality: South African
- Zodiac Sign: Cancer
- Sexual Orientation: Straight
- Marital Status: Married
- Bob Mabena’s Wife: Eucharist Hadebe
- Bob Mabena’s Children: 7 (allegedly), including Clementine and Sihle
- Siblings: Victor Mabena
- Occupation: Television and radio host, DJ, musician
- Famous for: his work as a radio presenter
The Veteran Radio Host was Born in Atteridgeville, Pretoria
Bob Mabena was born in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, on July 26, 1969. His full name is Kgomotso Bob Mabena. As a little boy, he grew up in the Gauteng province, which was still going through the struggles of apartheid in the then Union of South Africa.
He grew up under his grandmother’s care and didn’t know much about his parents because he was just eleven years old when he lost his mother.
Mabena has one known brother called Victor Mabena. He works as a radio DJ for Kaya FM. In 2019, a woman showed up at his workplace claiming to be his blood sister, but the late legendary DJ denied her outrightly. The radio legend hardly talked about his family and background. This explains why there is little information about his family and early life.
A Look At Bob Mabena’s Educational Background
As a young boy, Bob Mabena was drawn to radio shows as he often listened to programs with his grandmother. He had his high school studies at Saulridge High school, located in Cape Town city, after which he enrolled in college and earned his graduate degree in journalism and broadcasting.
Mabena’s academic qualifications played a vital role in putting him on the country’s map and beyond its shores. He was a legend in his job and passionately willing to offer help to the younger generation.
Bob Mabena Had An Illustrious Career That inspired Many People
Although Bob Mabena was widely known as a broadcaster and on-air personality, which he practiced for a long time till his death in 2020, he was really a multi-talented man. From playing as a DJ in his native Atteridgeville, he transcended into a voice-over artist, musician, and amazing presenter, all in one.
Just like every other kid growing up, he had his eyes for a white-collar paying job. He admired the doctors, lawyers, engineers, and many conventional vocations the 1970s parents loved to aspire for their kids. But unknowingly to him, he was not destined to blossom in any of those fields.
Rise and shine☀️
It's the Friday edition of #POWERBreakfast with @FaithMangope, @mabena_bob and the team until 09:00.
We are on the Dstv audio channel 889. pic.twitter.com/NITyMNxrcM
— POWER 98.7 (@Powerfm987) July 31, 2020
He started his career playing at shows as a DJ in his hometown of Atteridgeville and got MC gigs before landing his first job as a radio presenter in 1989 with the now-defunct Radio Bop in the Republic of Bophuthatswana. He hosted afternoon and morning shows before Koos Radebe, Radio Metro station’s manager, gave him a job in the national radio station where he anchored various television shows, including Pick a Tune and Studio Mix.
Mabena would later move to 94.7 as a mid-morning host and joined its management team in 1996. He joined Kaya FM in 1999 as a program manager and a morning show presenter, after which he was promoted to the post of Primedia business development manager at the Group level. He served for two and a half years, and it was such an amazing experience.
The late veteran radio host also spent some time in SABC, precisely from 2007 to 2009. While his term lasted, he served as the executive manager of commercial radio stations, and he was in charge of media houses such as 5FM, Metro FM, and GoodHope FM.
After some years, Mr. Mabena returned to Kaya FM as a breakfast show presenter, and he was put in charge of Gagasi FM and Heart FM as the director of MRC Radio. Sometime in 2010, Bob decided to launch a radio consultancy while still working for KAYA FM.
The agency, EndowMedia, was the platform through which he trained hundreds of aspiring radio and TV hosts in speech and attitude anchoring, precisely between 2014 and 2015. He later left KAYA FM morning show 180 in 2017 and joined MSG and Power 98.7 as the station manager.
Bob’s illustrious career spanned over three decades, and he made a huge impact that many believe would transcend space and time. Mabena also had a Foundation, the Bob K. Mabena Foundation, founded to help people, especially school leavers.
He was Married To Eucharist Hadebe Until His Demise
Bob Mabena’s marriage to Hadebe was his second marriage, and they had a son. Bob’s widow is very protective of their kid and hardly shares her son’s personal details with the public or shares his pictures within the public space. The younger Mabena was born in 2016.
Before his marriage to Eucharist, Bob and Zandi Nhlapo lived together as husband and wife for 20 years. He and the former SABC 1 presenter finalized their divorce in 2009. Bob’s intimacy with the TV presenter and businesswoman produced a daughter.
Hadebe is a successful businesswoman with years of experience in the beauty and cosmetics line. She is also the founder and director of Hai Cosmetics (Pty)Ltd. She is currently the HR & Office Manager at MRC Management Services. While their marriage lasted, there were no known issues they had with each other or a third party. The couple really loved each other.
The Late Radio Host Died A Few Days After He Fell Ill
Bob Mabena took ill on Friday 7, 2020, and was told the next day by his doctor to go to the hospital. He obliged and spent that day and the following day in hospital receiving treatment. As promised by the hospital, he was discharged on Monday morning being August 10, 2020, but things took a turn for the worse after he left the hospital premises and was on his way to his house.
According to reports, he stopped breathing while his wife was driving him home. As instructed, she immediately took him back to the hospital, and the doctors spent the next two hours trying to resuscitate him. In the long run, the doctors confirmed that he had passed from cardiac arrest.
The veteran DJ was reportedly diagnosed with a life-threatening illness that required him to exercise a lot and maintain a healthy diet at the age of 48.
Bob Mabena Allegedly Had Seven Children
Upon his death, it was revealed that Bob Mabena was survived by seven children who are mostly not publicly known aside from Clementine and Sihle, who paid tribute to their late dad at his funeral. Though he was only married twice, he is said to have fathered numerous children outside wedlock. His other children’s names and further information about their personal life is yet to be disclosed to the public.