Robbie Malinga Biography: Family, Career, Awards and Death

Award-winning producer influenced several South African musicians

By  | Jun 22, 2020, 01:43 PM  | Robbie Malinga  | Top of The

Robbie Malinga was an award-winning producer, who influenced South African musicians and what they wanted to deliver to their fans.

With a career that spanned more than 20 years, Robbie Malinga worked with Mzansi’s biggest musicians. His untimely death in 2017 shook the industry, but also he left a lasting legacy.

This is his biography.

Robbie Malinga’s Early Life And Family

Robbie was born on 8 November in Soweto, south of Johannesburg, where he grew up with his siblings.

As a young man, Robbie fathered two children, from two different relationships.

A daughter Lerato Mothuping born in 1990 and a son Tumelo Moloisane born in 1991.

Growing up Lerato knew who her father was, often visiting Robbie’s mother, her grandmother. This is when she’d see her father.

Tumelo was 17-years-old when his mom told him who his father was. Since then he connected with the Malinga family, often visiting his grandmother and aunt in their Soweto home.
Instagram embed

On Valentine’s Day in 1999, he met his future wife Ann through mutual friends. The couple clicked instantly, and they celebrated their love with a traditional wedding in 2003.

In 2012, they walked down the aisle for the white wedding, surrounded by family and friends.

The couple, who were never shy to share all their loved-up posts, also shared their baecation pictures of their holiday they took to Paris, France.

The couples’ union was blessed with two children: a son Robbie Malinga Jr, born in 2001 and a daughter Zanokuhle born in 2015.

Robbie Malinga’s Music Career

Robbie’s love for music started as a child, when he was introduced to the piano. Soon he was the official pianist at his church.

He furthered his musical studies at a music college on the West Rand, where he befriended the music group Trompies.

He started his music career by performing with Blondie Makhene and Freddie Gwala and released his first song Intsimibi in 1998.

Since then he has worked with Mzansi’s biggest gospel, Afro-soul and Kwaito artists, producing music for Ntando, Idols winner Musa, Kabelo and the late Brown Dash.
Instagram embed

Some of his most popular songs are Sobabili, Mthanda and Baby Please, which is a collaboration with Kelly Khumalo, another musician who was one of his mentees. He also produced Zahara’s hit song Loliwe.

In 2016, Robbie announced that he was calling it quits on his music career and releasing his own music. Instead he wanted to focus on producing music for other artists.

But he had one more surprise in store for fans, a collaboration album called The Duets. The album featured collaborations with Musa, Zahara, Naima Kay, Kelly Khumalo, Idols winner Karabo Mogane and Riot Zungu from Gang of Instrumentals.

Winning Awards

Robbie’s more than 20-year career has evolved, as he moved his focus from Kwaito to Afro-pop and then Soul, always growing his brand and earning millions of fans. He has been celebrated and received several awards, including a South African Music Award in 2015 for the song Indlela. In 2016 he received another SAMA for producing the album Country Girl.

He was also a choir master on the Mzansi Magic reality competition show Clash of the Choirs, where the choir her formed won the second season of the show.

Robbie Malinga’s Death and Funeral

In and out of hospital the months before his passing, Robbie was surrounded by his immediate family, when he succumbed to pancreatic cancer.

His heartbroken wife Ann continues to share tributes of Robbie on her social pages.

Robbie’s family, music industry friends and fans all came out to pay tribute to him, and honour his legacy, with a memorial and funeral service.
Instagram embed

Some of the musicians whose career he impacted, like Karabo Mogane and Ntando Bangani performed at his funeral service. Karabo, who is an Idols winner, is one of the last artists who worked with Robbie.

Other musicians who paid their respect at Robbie Malinga’s memorial service were Zahara, Ringo and former Idols winner Musa.

Robbie Malinga was laid to rest at the Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg, where a seven-ton tombstone was erected.

The life size statue of Robbie, which costs a mouthwatering R500 000, was criticised by fans who said the bust didn’t look anything like the legendary musician.

The tombstone manufacture, Bataung Memorials ended up redesigning the tombstone, and a few weeks after his burial, his immediate family reunited at his gravesite for a private ceremony to unveil the new tombstone.
Instagram embed

His brother Bheki was very emotional at the unveiling of the tombstone, that also includes a piano and replica of the awards Robbie has received during his impressive career.

Robbie Malinga’s Net Worth

Although Robbie’s net worth hasn’t been determined, he is one of the few South African musicians who didn’t die in debt. And it’s clear his family are not struggling financially.

Robbie Malinga Jr, who caused a stir on social media when he took over his father’s Instagram account, often shares pictures of his shopping sprees, which includes trips to Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

He’s also shared pictures of a fleet of cars in their garage, including a Porsche.
Instagram embed

And when he turned 18-years-old in 2019, his mother gifted him with a Mini Cooper.

Meanwhile, his children from his previous relationships were still struggling to receive their share of his royalties more than a year after his death. 

Robbie may no longer be with us, but his contribution to South Africa’s music industry will live on forever.

                     Siya Kolisi Signs Roc Nation Deal

Main image credit: Music In Africa