South Africa woke up to the sad news of Ray Phiri's passing this morning, 12 July, after succumbing to his battle with lung cancer.
Messages of condolences from across the country and abroad have been pouring after the news broke of Ray Phiri's passing.
Here are a few things we've come to learn about the Jazz musician
- He was honored with the Order of Ikhamanga award in silver which is granted by the Presidents of South Africa for achievements in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sports.
- Ray Phiri's hit record Zwakala has been sampled by many local artists. The song was even the main theme song for local drama series Zone 14. Rapper, Young Nationz also sampled the song in his 2007 single, Zwakala Emzansi. Ray Phiri also featured in the video as well.
- Ray Phiri has a daughter by the name of Nonku Phiri who is fairly known in the local hip hop community, Nonku is not only a rapper but a fashion designer as well. In recent interviews with Channel 24 Ray Phiri expressed how proud he was of his daughters achievement and how her talents scared him - "I am very proud of her work ... I’m even scared to watch her videos on YouTube – I see her and wish I could do that. I cry when I see her work – tears of celebration – she’s crazy that one. Just like her daddy.”
- Ray Phiri was involved in numerous accidents in his life. Back in 1987 he was involved in a car accident that claimed the lives of his manager and six of his band managers. In 2003 he was again involved in a serious car accident that claimed his wife's life and left him with serious injuries.
- He lived in Daveyton, Soweto and was the first black man known to own a Porsche
- Somizi once mentioned that his first introduction to luxury brand, Prada, was through Mr Ray Phiri. Somizi once shared that he was so drawn at the boots Ray Phiri was wearing that he asked what brand they were. The late artist then informed Somizi that the shoes were Prada boots.
May his soul rest in peace.