Family, colleagues and close friends gathered at the Power FM headquarters on Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to radio pioneer Bob Mabena through a virtual memorial service.
The 51-year-old’s two daughters, Clementine and Sihle, paid a moving tribute to their father, who passed away on Monday afternoon from cardiac arrest.
The bubbly Clementine, who tried hard to remain strong among the mourners, said: “They say every soul that is due to be born picks his/her parents. My siblings and I won the jackpot. He was a gold mine of note, the most effortless and coolest man anyone has ever met.
“I want to be greedy and say I wish I had more time, but he gave me the best of himself. The way his career started no one saw him coming and no one saw him leaving. Thank you all for the respect you have shown us.”
She went as far as calling out her seven siblings to join her on stage.
“The Jammers journey does not end here. The legacy will continue,” she said.
Sihle shared that on Father’s Day, Mabena sent them a message to tell them what he wanted as a gift, and he was adamant about what he wanted.
“We then decided to give him what he asked, as expensive it was. But when we presented him with his desired gift, he was shocked and surprised,” Sihle added.
She also encouraged the family to seek the Lord’s strength in this difficult hour, quoting Psalms 121.
“My help comes from the Lord. Mama Bear, the Mabena and Hadebe’s family let us look to God to give us strength.”
Sihle, who has a soulful voice, moved the mourners when she sang a popular song titled Viva The Legend, by songstress Zonke Dikana.
“My dad and I used to joke about [it]. He said when dad died, sis’ Zonke must sing this song at his funeral. Now, that Zonke is not here– I am going to sing the song,” said an emotional Sihle.
Power FM chairperson Given Mkhari also shared how Mabena’s little son, LJ, has accepted that his father was no more.
“On Monday when I had left the hospital and when we were still figuring out what was next, the naughty character prayed and told us: ‘My dad is happy; my dad is in heaven and he will always be with us in our dreams’,” said Mkhari.
He told the mourners that anyone who had a conversation with Mabena for the last few months, he said his goodbyes.
“Him and Mrs Mabena used to have date nights and long drives together. And even before he took his last breath, he gave her the last drive,” Mkhari said.
Speaker after speaker described the Jammer as a selfless man who was larger than life and gave others a big break in the showbiz industry.
Media personality Melanie Son, who was Mabena’s co-host on the music TV show, Studio Mix, said she once had a stalker after the show they used to host together at SABC every Friday.
“We were both young, but Bob made it his personal responsibility that after the show I got home safe. He would either give me a lift home or send someone to drop me off. When he cared about you, he did not just say it, he showed you,” Son said.
She also remembered how they had a show in Nelspruit and after that successful show, when they were heading to the bus accompanied by security, someone grabbed Bob’s favourite Tupac cap off his head and disappeared.
“But Bob did not let it slide. He ran after the guy into the crowd and the security followed him. A couple minutes later, he came back with his cap in his hands, saying ‘Not my Tupac cap. It cannot happen. I had to get it back’,” Son added.
Mabena will be buried on Saturday.