Family friend Winston Maimane says Bob Mabena’s personality shone through in his work and was an extension of him, but his real love was to be with his family at home.

Mabena passed away yesterday at the age of 51. Maimane says Mabena was dedicated to both his family and work.

“In his private space he just loved being behind these gates at home, with family, quiet. Most of the time his phone would be off on weekends because that was his time. He was an introvert. But, Ja, his talents as we all got to experience them to close to 30 years now was just an extension of his authentic self. He just happened to be as good as he was, but he never took it for granted. I know even his last show that he did he always got goosebumps and nervous on his way to work.”

Miamane says the love showed by South Africans Mabena and his family after his death is like an extension of Mabena. He says it was a blessing being in Mabena’s life. Maimane was at the hospital when Mabena passed away.

“I don’t know how one could ever put it into words when you are so blessed enough to have a genuine relationship with somebody that you know loves you and you love him back. It is just as authentic as that and the memories flow in and out and sometimes you laugh about it, sometimes you smile, sometimes you break into tears. But there’s a lot to process and it’s gonna take a long time to get to a point where one’s mindset and emotion settles into this,” he says.

In the video below, tributes continue to pour in for Mabena:

Mabena’s passing unexpected and painful

As tributes continue to pour in for Mabena, the man who spotted his radio talent  when he auditioned for the radio job at the now defunct Radio Bop, Thapelo Thipe, says the radio and television personality’s untimely death was unexpected and is painful.

Thipe says when he spoke to Mabena last week Friday on his show he did not know it was for the last time.

Thipe says he received the news of Mabena’s passing through a text message and thought the sender confused Mabena’s death with that of another former Radio Bop personality, who also passed on yesterday morning

“When I saw that message I immediately wrote back and refuted the report that no you’ve got it wrong the person who is late is Clifford not Bob, and later I was quiet devastated when I saw it on television being confirmed that he is late, utterly shocked, absolutely shocked.”

He described Mabena as a dedicated worker, who was always empowering himself with knowledge.

Thipe says: “He was passionate, quiet focused and used all his time to stay at work, working on the next programme, for instance he would start the morning show, at 6am until 9am, then after 9am he would go and have some breakfast and there after come back again and spend the rest of the day at work in the library, listening to the music and going through magazines and books.”

Thipe says South Africans and the media fraternity must take solace on the fact that Mabena was not selfish and has passed his skills to others.

“We would take comfort from the fact that all along Bob was not selfish but he was replicating himself in others, He was pouring himself in others, and he was raising a new generation of radio personalities like him. He has passed on the baton to the next generation. He is a legend, he has left people who will walk on his footsteps.”

Thipe, who is now a senior pastor in Kimberley, has sent words of comfort to the family.

“I wish to say to the family be filled with God’s strength and God’s comfort, take solace from the fact that a great young man stood among you, and he has left a legacy and that should be a comfort to you, God bless you.”