It’s a sad day for South Africa as the nation mourns the passing of a musical genius Ray Phiri whose death was made public on Wednesday morning.
Consequently, an outpouring of tributes from around the country has flooded social media in the wake of the veteran’s death.
Here are some of the tributes to the legendary Ray Phiri;
— Nontobeko Sibisi (@Nontobek0Sibisi) July 12, 2017
— Time Traveller (@Maboresenwamadi) July 12, 2017
— IG: Club808_ig (@Club808) July 12, 2017
A musical Genius,legend..with a melodical voice #RipRayPhiri
— Eric Khoza (@Pappas5683) July 12, 2017
We had you Sir for the Sport Awards in Bloemfontein. You gave a wonderful performance as always. RIP to a Legend. Your music will live on. pic.twitter.com/MixY0w2NMO
— RSA Police Minister (@MbalulaFikile) July 12, 2017
— Dali Mpofu (@AdvDali_Mpofu) July 12, 2017
So heart breaking: oh bra Ray Phiri 😔🙏🏿 💔 May his soul rest in perfect musical peace! pic.twitter.com/RMo3chJiXR
— IG: @MbuyiseniNdlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) July 12, 2017
While the tributes were pouring in, Rocking the Daisies, the local music festival at which Ray was due to perform later this year, released a touching statement and tribute to the legend.
In the statement, the organisers of the event say that they will host tribute to honour the artist at the event:
“We will host a tribute to Ray at this year’s Rocking the Daisies as a celebration of his life and recognition to his contribution to the music industry.”
News of the legend’s death broke on Wednesday morning. The 70-year-old veteran bowed to a two-month battle with lung cancer and had recently been admitted to a hospital in Nelspruit.
Born on 23 March 1947 near Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, Ray Phiri was a self-taught guitarist who has made magic in the music industry for several decades. The iconic guitarist and vocalist was the founding member of the Cannibals in the 1970s. The group later grew in size and was renamed Stimela, becoming a very influential Afro-fusion band.
Their new name was born out of a life-changing experience in Mozambique, when they were stranded in Maputo for three months. As a result, the band members had to sell all their belongings to pay for a train home. This trip was a turning point as it was where they conceived the new name for the band. Notably, the word ‘train’ is translated as ‘stimela’ in Nguni languages.
The legend’s daughter Nonku is presently doing a great job in the industry as a musician and fashion designer.