Ray Phiri remembered as a "lightning rod figure" for SA music

As tributes pour in for jazz musician Ray Phiri, South African author Bongani Madondo has remembered him as the heart and soul of the great musical group Stimela and for his dance moves.

Phiri had been battling lung cancer and was being treated at a Nelspruit hospital when he passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

READ: Legendary jazz musician Ray Phiri dies at 70

WATCH: I will always remain in people's heads - Ray Phiri

Besides learning to play a variety of music instruments, including the guitar, piano and drums, the Mpumalanga born artist got his first break as a dancer for the Dark City Sister's in 1962.

He went on to establish the soul music group, the Cannibals in the 1970s before cementing his career with the gold- and platinum-winning Stimela.

He is the kind of artist you thought would be here forever so you can tell your daughters and sons and say I knew this old man. He changed my world.

Bongani Madondo, author

He has done a lot of of things, he was a guitarist, a vocalist but came into showbiz through dance. He joined a band called The Jabavu Queens and before that the Dark City Sister's... he could contort his body into strange shapes and we saw how dance became a major deal whilst he became a major star even before Graceland.

Bongani Madondo, author

Madondo says Phiri's father introduced him to music.

He was raised by different fathers, and went on to become great dad on his own, not only to his daughters and biological children but he fathered a whole lot of musicians. He was a guiding and lightning rod figure in the modern development of pop music from the 1970s until now.

Bongani Madondo, author

Executive director at the South African Music Education Trust, Shadrack Bokaba, spoke about the last 15 years of Phiri's work in the industry.

Ray was very focused on the music education side, we helped him establish the Ray Phiri Arts Institute. He was the sort of person who very in his later years was interested in seeing young people walk in his footsteps.

Shadrack Bokaba, Executive director at the South African Music Education Trust

I also had a chance to serve with him on the National Arts Council where he was very passionate about areas of redress.

Shadrack Bokaba, Executive director at the South African Music Education Trust

Bokaba says he last spoke to Phiri on Friday.

If you know Ray, he always talked about his mother who in the late 90's was approaching 100 and everyone expected him to take some genes from his mom because he looked so young. And so it comes as a shock when you hear such devastating news because I hoped he would pull out of it.

Shadrack Bokaba, Executive director at the South African Music Education Trust

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio....


This article first appeared on 702 : Ray Phiri remembered as a "lightning rod figure" for SA music


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
No certainty if strange stone originates from outside the solar system

No certainty if strange stone originates from outside the solar system

In 2013 researchers announced the 'Hypatia' stone found in the south-west of Egypt, was most certainly not from Earth.

[LISTEN] ANC's proposed land expropriation explained

[LISTEN] ANC's proposed land expropriation explained

The Institute of Race Relations explains the confusion around the proposed amendment to Section 25 and how this affects property.

State Capture inquiry could be 'never-ending' if broadened - Karima Brown

State Capture inquiry could be 'never-ending' if broadened - Karima Brown

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has called for a broadening of the scope of the investigation into state capture.

Opinion: Give the country what investors want, confidence!

Opinion: Give the country what investors want, confidence!

702 host Ray White says the ANC's January 8 statement should mark the beginning of something new for South Africa.

WATCH: I will always remain in people's heads - Ray Phiri

WATCH: I will always remain in people's heads - Ray Phiri

The legendary jazz musician was battling lung cancer when he died on Wednesday morning.

 Legendary jazz musician  Ray Phiri dies at 70

Legendary jazz musician Ray Phiri dies at 70

The family has confirmed that he was battling lung cancer.

Popular articles
Why many couples today are struggling with marriage

Why many couples today are struggling with marriage

Dr Eve advises that many modern couples need marriage to be a safe space for self-expression and self-actualisation.

The Big Pet Problem: Are you struggling to rent because you have pets?

The Big Pet Problem: Are you struggling to rent because you have pets?

Frustrated tenants say they're being discriminated against by landlords.

'The NPA should be ready and re-enroll the matter' - Nel on Malema prosecution

'The NPA should be ready and re-enroll the matter' - Nel on Malema prosecution

AfriForum not backing down over decision to privately prosecute Julius Malema.

Ed Dept scraps supplementary exams for matriculants

Ed Dept scraps supplementary exams for matriculants

The Department of Basic Education has announced it will do away with matric supplementary exams from 2019.

Cape Town not out the woods yet even with recent rainfall

Cape Town not out the woods yet even with recent rainfall

Climate expert, Piotr Wolski, says the city will know towards the end of May whether 2018 is a good or bad year.

This is how much you should be paying your domestic worker

This is how much you should be paying your domestic worker

Stephen Rathai, director of employment standards at the Department of Labour talks on the new national minimum wage.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)

Mugg & Bean agrees to pay medical bill of customer

Mugg & Bean agrees to pay medical bill of customer

Mugg & Bean has agreed to pay for customers medical bills after a month of being in pain and pestering the chain to pay the bill.