‘Heavenly birthday, Love of my Life’ – Bob Mabena’s wife honours ‘the jammer’s’ memory

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Bob Mabena's wife Eucharist Mabena remembers her husband on what would have been his 53rd birthday.
Bob Mabena's wife Eucharist Mabena remembers her husband on what would have been his 53rd birthday.
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Plans surely would be afoot for his 53rd birthday celebration this weekend.

But this year, his family has to wish him a heavenly happy birthday after the legendary broadcaster, Bob Mabena, died on Monday 10 August 2020 when he went into cardiac arrest. 

Eucharist Mabena remembers her husband on his birthday and has shared a heartfelt post on social media.

“Heavenly birthday, Love of my Life. Today I choose to celebrate you with all the ones you cared for through music. I love you deeply.” 

Barely two weeks before he passed, Bob released his 12-track compilation album, Jammers House Volume 1, in honour of his longstanding career.

At the time of his death, Bob was the anchor of the breakfast show on Power 98.7. The station announced his untimely passing. 

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Speaking to Drum, Eucharist says everyone has just been coping. 

“The entire clan has been “coping “, for a lack of a better word, since the departure. Though there’s heightened anxiety around the week of his birthday leading to the 10th of August when he passed.” But she says they all constantly check in on one another just to make sure no one is struggling alone.  

“The house is very quiet and lonely most times. Having the kids come over and make noise and make a mess is now something to look forward to,” she says.

“All my kids miss daddy terribly; he was very close to all of them and had a uniquely special connection with all of them separately and together. We have a family group chat where we will share funny moments, we had with him. Yes, the pain still cuts so deep, that we cry a lot. But knowing that we have each other makes living without daddy a little easier.” 

Usually, on their birthdays they take time off work and book dinner at their favorite restaurant for just the two of them. 

“Then on the same weekend, we celebrate with close friends and family at home. We traveled a lot also on special occasions. We celebrated the day I agreed to date him, we celebrated the day we moved in together. Every special moment we slotted in our phones, and he would remind me when I’d forgotten. So, we made being together very memorable. We kept all our messages since we started dating,” she says. 

To keep Bob’s legacy alive, Eucharist is working on special projects. 

“He was a person of such magnitude and deserves a legacy that lives on forever. Through the Bob Mabena Foundation as well as The Jammer Journey we are working on a few projects which we cannot mention as yet. Some are a continuation of what he was doing already. Some new. In time we will share them,” she says.

Daily, Eucharist misses her husband's cooking and contagious laugh.  “His contagious laugh still rings very loud in my ear. And every time I feel down, I will revisit those moments of joy and laughter and find myself laughing out loud,” she says. 

“Little LJ and I never go to sleep without saying good night daddy, we love you, or good morning when we wake up. We find this really helps for our sanity. I miss his cooking and just how he loved and spoiled me. There truly will never be another. This is why days like today are most difficult. He was one in a million.” 

At the funeral, Eucharist spoke fondly of the love of her life.

“My baby love, my superman, love of my life — words aren't even coming to me,” she said with tears.

“The past few days have felt like a long bad dream that keeps playing itself over and over. I've lain awake every night this week, hoping that you'll walk through the door.” 

Reading from her letter, she shared how he used to make her laugh uncontrollably even in hard times. 

“My pillar, my best friend is no more. I keep asking God, why now? The 10th of August is still a vivid nightmare. The day I watched my superman put down his cape. The day I never thought I would ever experience in my life. The day our cruise was interrupted by the angel of death. The day I drove home knowing that I will never see you again. My love, I want to thank you and God, for affording me the gift of time when you gave me the last hour of your life.” 

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Uncle Bob, as he was affectionately known, started his broadcast career in 1989 at Radio Bop and also worked on radio stations such as Metro FM, Kaya FM and Highveld Stereo.

He was also widely known for hosting the popular music show Studio Mix with Melanie Bala.

He owned the Bob K Mabena Foundation, which helped to promote education among the youth. Bob also produced several hit songs, including Get Funky, which featured soccer legend Doctor Khumalo.

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