Bob Mabena’s death lives a deep void to fill

The legendary broadcaster’s death was confirmed by his employers Power FM after experiencing a cardiac arrest on Monday.

“It is with deep grief and pain that we announce Power 98.7 Breakfast Host, Bob Mabena passed away this afternoon (Monday), from cardiac arrest.

“The family is coming to terms with his passing and respectfully requests the public to afford them the appropriate space.

“Further details will be communicated in due course,” said Power 98.7 management.

The ‘outie from Atteridgeville’ as he would proudly attest, made his indelible mark with then Radion Bop (Bophutatswana) some donkey years’.

For his outstanding work he was recruited to join the likes of other stations including Highveld, Metro FM and Kaya FM, where he was credited for having given opportunities to young emerging radio-DJs, etc.

I personally met and interviewed Bob with now defunct e’Vibe Music Magazine years ago, as a frequent visitor to our offices due to his relationship with top management.

He was promoting his exclusive BM eye-wear sunglasses and fortunately handed me a pair for ‘swagger’. That’s how I learnt of his other African name Kgomotso.

Bob was a regular in my hood, Naledi in Soweto for his personal ‘lovelife’ stuff.

If my memory serves me very well, Bob was still presenting a popular youth musical show at SABC TV on Friday’s alongside his long-time friend Melanie Bala (Son).

I found him open, laughable, frank and never throwed around his weight that I’m a celebrity therefore…

He also made a bubble-gum hit ‘Get Funky’ in the 90s featuring Kaizer Chiefs maestro Doctor “16 V” Khumalo and the late Wendy Mseleku, a project initiated by another legend Lindelani Mkhize.

Described by many as “Michael Jackson of radio” Bob shaped the thinking of his listeners and asked questions one would not dare to ask.

An ‘epitome of radio’ the legend has taken his last breath and will still be celebrated by all and sundry.

He also founded the Bob Mabena Foundation- a non-profit making organisation that was established to bridge a gap between affluent children and those from townships in SA. The organisation also adopted a school in Pretoria to enhance its infrastructure.

Messages of condolences from political parties, music industry, entertainment sector, Government and ordinary South African’s, were still streaming in at the time of publishing.

He was aged 51 and lives wife and children.

Details on memorial service and funeral to be confirmed at later stage.

Image (Bob Mabena and longtime friend Melanie Bala co-presenting the awards ceremony).

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