“Gobsmacked and saddened by the news of Bob Mabena’s untimely passing. Another talent loss for our country. Heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and fans,” wrote Advocate Thuli Madonsela on Twitter when reacting to the news of the passing of Power FM’s breakfast show host, Bob Mabena, who died at the age of 51.
On Monday afternoon South Africa came to a standstill when it was announced that the veteran radio personality had died of suspected cardiac arrest.
The news of his passing was confirmed by the chairperson of Power FM, Given Mkhari.
“It is true that our brother, our colleague, the legend Bob Mabena passed away this afternoon,” said an emotional Mkhari on air.
“He had been admitted on Saturday and was discharged this morning (Monday). On the way home with Mrs Mabena, he started experiencing some more pains. They drove back to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital he was in ICU.
“I was with Mrs Mabena and we were called into a room where they pronounced that he had passed away. The doctor tells us they suspect it was a cardiac attack after they took him back to ICU,” Mkhari shared the news with Power FM listeners.
His announcement was followed by a Power FM statement: “It is with deep grief and pain that we announce that Power FM breakfast host Bob Mabena passed away this afternoon 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.”
Mabena was signed under Gallo Music when he died.
He had recently made his comeback in the music industry with his house compilation, titled, Jammers House Volume 1.
City Press interviewed Mabena about the compilation two weeks ago.
Read: The Jammer is back with a 12-track album bang
“We have lost a true gentleman and radio legend. We are shocked and devastated by the news and were just about to embark on launching his new Jammer House collection together. We extend condolences and thoughts to his family and loved ones left behind,’ said Gallo Music Group’s general manager, Rob Cowling, in a statement.
After the news of Mabena’s passing broke, condolences began pouring in on social media with celebrities mourning the huge loss to radio industry.
702’s radio personality Azania Mosaka wrote on Twitter: “Hard to believe. You did radio with passion and joy. Pure radio talent. A star. You set the bar, showed how it’s done. You defined and shaped it for years to come. You loved and it loved you back like crazy. A radio legend has fallen. Moya wa hao o robale ka khotso.”
Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa also sent his condolences, saying the creative sector had loss a diamond.
“Bob Mabena wove a remarkable thread across the tapestry of the South African media landscape. He was a giant who left an indelible mark in music, arts and broadcasting,” Mthethwa said.
According to Mabena’s profile, the legendary broadcaster radio career started in 1989 in the then Bophuthatswana with the now defunct Radio Bop.
He has been in the radio industry for three decades.
After he spent three years in North West and having ventured into television as well, he was recruited by former Metro FM station manager, Koos Radebe, to the national radio station.
Mabena’s stint at Metro FM brought with it more national exposure in the form of a variety of TV shows, including Pick a Tune and Studio Mix and just to mention a few.
Mabena had also worked at Kaya FM, 5FM and Good Hope FM.
Mabena's final post on Instagram: