Phiri’s mu­si­cal ends

Vuk'uzenzele - - Sport, Arts Culture - Al­bert Pule

The deATh oF mu­si­cal leg­end Ray “Chikapa” Phiri has left the mu­sic in­dus­try poorer.

ray “Chikapa” Phiri was born in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, in 1947 and started his mu­sic ca­reer in the late 1960s as a gui­tarist. He founded a group called The Can­ni­bals, fol­lowed by the more well­known Stimela.

With Stimela, Phiri com­posed and con­cep­tu­alised new work and the band achieved plat­inum-sell­ing al­bums. Min­is­ter of Arts and Cul­ture Nathi Mthethwa said Phiri’s mu­sic ap­pealed to a new gen­er­a­tion of South Africans who were fight­ing apartheid.

“Their mu­sic was ur­ban, racy and African pop at its best and it spoke to the times they lived in. Their songs ap­pealed to new gen­er­a­tions of South Africans who came of age in the 1970s and 1980s and who stood their ground and strove for free­dom in the last decade of apartheid rule.”

Ray Phiri was an arts ac­tivist in Mpumalanga and for many years sat on the board of the Na­tional Arts Coun­cil of South Africa. He col­lab­o­rated with many other mu­si­cians to ad­vance their mu­sic, and founded the Ray Phiri Artists In­sti­tute

to de­velop Mpumalanga tal­ent.

‘We will re­mem­ber him’

He re­ceived the Or­der of Ikhamanga in Sil­ver for his con­tri­bu­tion to South African mu­sic and his life’s con­tri­bu­tion to the trans­for­ma­tion of the arts.

Pre­mier of the North West Supra Mahumapelo joined mil­lions of South Africans to pay trib­ute to Phiri.

He said Phiri’s death came at a time when there was an agree­ment be­tween him and the North West pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to as­sist the prov­ince in re­vi­talise help Mma­bana Stu­dios.

“I was also work­ing with the leg­endary mu­si­cian, as an artist my­self, on a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, heal­ing and re­newal mu­sic con­cert in hon­our of the late Collins Cha­bane and to com­pose the gospel ver­sion of Zwakala,” said Pre­mier Mahumapelo.

“This is truly a great loss to the mu­sic in­dus­try. I wish to, on be­half of the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment and the North West com­mu­nity, ex­tend our deep­est con­do­lences to his fam­ily and friends.

“We will for­ever re­mem­ber him and be grate­ful for his im­mense con­tri­bu­tion in the mu­sic in­dus­try. May his soul rest in peace,” Pre­mier Mahumapelo said.

Ray Phiri

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