NEWS
27/12/2017 10:15 SAST | Updated 27/12/2017 10:15 SAST

President Jacob Zuma Joins Tributes To Robbie Malinga

Robbie Malinga died at his home on Christmas Day.

Foto24 via Getty Images
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, FEBRUARY 25: Musa Sukwene and Robbie Malinga during the 16th annual Metro FM Music Awards held at the Inkosi Luthuli Convention Centre (ICC) on February 25, 2017 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Jabulani Langa/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

President Jacob Zuma has paid tribute to the late Robbie Malinga, as eulogies continue to pour in for the singer and producer, eNCA reported. At the age of 47, Malinga died on Christmas day after a long battle with anaemia.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a talented artist. This is indeed a huge loss for South Africa and the music industry as a whole. We are with his family in thoughts and prayers during this trying period. May his soul rest in peace. Malinga's rise to fame coincided with the increasing popularity of kwaito music in the 1990s. He played a role in shaping the genre," the presidency said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

Gauteng MEC for arts and culture Faith Mazibuko visited Malinga's home on Tuesday, calling for his family to receive the necessary support. According to Eyewitness News (EWN), Mazibuko said Malinga's wife was "inconsolable".

"The family is still devastated; the wife is inconsolable and is crying very much, but with the help of family members and those that are available they are there to console her," she said.

Musician Zahara broke down in an interview with eNCA while talking about Malinga, who she said was "like a father" to her.

Arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa, singer Lira and former public protector Thuli Madonsela were also among those who paid tribute to the late singer.

The exact cause of Malinga's death has not been reported, but he had battled anaemia for some time.

In an interview with The Sowetan in November, Malinga opened up about his battle with the illness. "I have anaemia; my body couldn't pump blood anymore, it had to do with the liver."

He was hospitalised in 2016.

"I was scared for my kids, man. My kids are so spoilt –– I make sure that I do everything for them. My wife as well; she's still young to have her husband die. It was scary, but I'm a strong person. I am a believer," he said in the interview.

Malinga joked about how he was teased over his weight loss, incurred as a result of the disease.

"It became a joke. People are mean out there. I had lost weight, and on social networks, they were saying I'm the face of Bio-Slim –– it was the funniest thing; I even laughed."

Malinga said he was "feeling much better", and told the publication that he was booked for gigs until January 19, 2018.