Music icon Robbie Malinga has been laid to rest at Heroes Acre in West Park Cemetery, north of Johannesburg.

Malinga’s career, which spans over two decades, started in the 90s with group Platform 1 and singer Freddy Gwala.

The multi-talented artist successfully wrote and produces songs in various music genres such as Kwaito, gospel and Afro-pop.

Malinga passed away on Christmas Day at his Dainfern home.

Family, friends and fans of Malinga gathered to eulogise a man who rose to become a pioneering icon in the music industry.

Malinga was a star to many and a loyal friend. One of his best friends, Doc Shebeleza, says Robbie was very loyal to his friends.

“I would go to Robbie and say to him my electricity is off. My brother I don’t have money things are not going well and I would be honest.”

“Robbie I have never , ever even see in the newspapers that he gave Doc Shebeleza a 2000 or he brought food in my house but the only person who knew that we help each other is his wife, Ann Malinga.”

Malinga was a singer, songwriter and producer whose talent underpinned many record-breaking hits of the day.

He also produced artists such as Musa Sukwene. Sukwene says they met seven years ago and when they finally worked together, they made magic.

His musical partner, Kelly Khumalo, failed to hold back the tears while performing for him.

Malinga’s family is shattered. His son Robbie Malinga Junior says he’s heart-broken.

“I am mostly out of words I can say a lot about my dad, my heart is broken because it was too soon.”

His wife was too distraught to speak. Lerato Wesi, a family member read out a tribute to her husband.

“I have shed many tears and I will shed many more. You help me grow thank you for teaching me the importance of keeping friendships.”

As one of the pioneers of Afro-pop music, Malinga worked alongside Kelly Khumalo, Ntando, Niama Kay, Musa and Zahara.

Beside his talent, Malinga also became known for his nurturing of others’ talent.

SABC’s spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, remembers Malinga with his talent.

“He has shown to us in all the years what are we talking about by being in the music industry, he was the best. He’s that kind of the person who did not want fame at all cost.”

Malinga succumbed to his battle with pancreatic cancer on Christmas Day. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter.

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