JOHANNESBURG, December 29 – Hundreds of mourners and industry heavyweights gathered at Grace Bible Church in Soweto on Friday to pay tribute and celebrate the life and times of music producer extraordinaire Robbie Malinga.
Malinga, who died of pancreatic cancer on Christmas Day after a long sickbed, was celebrated in song and dance by fellow musicians, politicians, actresses and actors, soccer teams, as well as community members from where he grew up in Meadowlands.
Known as “The Hitmaker” for producing many of the country’s hit songs and moulding the careers of many artists, Malinga was hailed as the pillar of SA music industry whose loss would be greatly felt.
Malinga’s mentors, Lebo M and Sello “Chicco” Twala were both in attendance, as were musicians for whom he produced songs.
Sibusiso “Dj Sbu” Leope, who worked with Malinga at TS Records, said he was one of the best music producers Africa had seen.
“Robbie was one of the greatest music producers in the continent. He knew how to identify and discover talent. He even won ‘Clash of the Choirs’ with a bunch of youngsters and made them superstars. Robbie knew how to evolve with the times. He is the greatest producer this country has ever seen,” Leope said.
As a soccer fanatic and a staunch Orlando Pirates supporter, Malinga’s memorial was graced by representatives of South Africa’s biggest soccer clubs and his favourite team’s fans took to the stage to sing along to the theme song he produced for Orlando Pirates’ 70th anniversary.
Managing director of Universal Music South Africa, Sipho Dlamini, said that Malinga, through his independent record label Robbie Malinga Entertainment, had brought in so much talent to the publishing company and that his family is entitled to all his royalties and any income that would come from the catalogue of his music and his legacy.
Malinga would be laid to rest next week Tuesday after the funeral ceremony at Rhema Bible Church. He is survived by his wife Ann, son Robbie Junior, daughter Zanokuhle, his parents, one sister and two brothers.
– African News Agency (ANA),