Now that we know the people's poet, AKA funeral practitioner for the famous, Mzwakhe Mbuli, is not involved in Ray Phiri's funeral (or at least the planning thereof), we have it on good authority that he had already drafted a poem for the late jazz legend. Unfortunately, he might not get to read it.
On Thursday, Power FM sports presenter Thabiso Mosia hit out at the musician and poet on Twitter, saying he cashes in on celebrities' funerals. Mosia said Mbuli offered to help families of deceased entertainment personalities by asking government departments to provide funding for funerals and other proceedings. He alleged he would then pocket most of the money, and ask the family to provide more money for what they needed.
Mosia said he was worried Mbuli would do this at Phiri's funeral. Phiri's family confirmed to TimesLive on Friday that Mbuli has not reached out to them to help.
Phiri died of lung cancer on Wednesday and will be laid rest on Saturday, July 22 following a funeral service at the Mbombela Stadium.
Here's the poem. Mbuli fans, you're welcome.
You were a rare breed, indeed
South Africa's brightest ray of sunshine, sunshine, sunshine
Oh Ray, oh Ray, oh Ray
Our hearts are so grey
And now you're in the heavens, but we're sure you will continue
As the young people say, to slay, slay and slay
Lyrically you were a supergiant
Giving us fire, passion and ecstasy
Defiant, resilient, never compliant
A survivor, a fighter, no matter the accident
Worthy of the Presidential Order of Ikhamanga
Where will PRASA turn to now?
Ngoba the one Stimela that matters, has left us
Oh ukufa (oh death)
Ukufa akunamahloni kuyahlakaza (death has no shame and destroys)
Kuyakufuna kukufice (it seeks for you and finds you)
Kukuphice uphelelwe (it confuses you and leaves you helpless)
Kukumangaze umbundaze (it astonishes you and leaves you mumbling)
Kukudumaze udideke (it disappoints and confuses)
Kukuvuruvaye uvuruvayeke (it wears you out)
Oh kufa (death)
But history will never forget you my brother Phiri
Your music legacy no one will ever query
Send our regards to Brenda Fassie
Send our regards to o Miriam Makeba, o Mandoza, o Sifiso Ncwane nabo bonkabanye
Ngoba nathi nakanjani sizo-zwakala, zwakala zwakala
Emazulwini sishaye ophinda mzala
*This poem is completely made up.