Bob Mabena has died at 51. Photo:

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has conveyed his heartfelt condolences on the passing of legendary radio personality, Bob Mabena. Mabena passed away on Sunday, 10 August 2020, at the age of 51 after suffering a cardiac arrest. Mabena was a renowned South African television and radio personality, who started his career in 1989.

“This is a sad loss not only to Bob’s family and friends, but to the broadcast fraternity and the country. His exceptional talent, voice of reason and insight reached millions of South Africans in their homes, workplaces and vehicles.

“It is very sad that such an iconic and household voice has gone silent. May his soul rest in peace,” said the President.

With a career that spans over 31 years on some of the country’s biggest radio stations, Mabena hosted numerous television and radio shows across many prominent broadcast houses, with his final home at Power 98.7.

bob mabena dead at 51 from heart attack
Power 98.7 paid tribute to Bob Mabena who died on Sunday from a heart attack.

He mentored and paved the way for many emerging broadcasters to achieve their own success in a dynamic and competitive entertainment and broadcast industry.

Former presenter and author Tracy Going shared an old photo yesterday and said: “Just last night I was looking at old photos and found this one of Bob at my 30th birthday. And I nearly messaged him. But then I didn’t. And now I hear the news that he has gone. We were a broadcast team for years. And he took me with him when he left Metro FM and joined Kaya. I will remember his laugh. His love of Tupac. And his stylishness – even at 06h00 in the morning. RIP Bob Mabena.”

Fellow radio presenter Brian Oxley said: “So very sad to hear about the passing of colleague Bob Mabena. No tall tales to tell or boasts to brag of, just a genuine, warm, human being – who always said hello and had time for the occasional chat at the SABC and at social functions. A true gentleman and a broadcast professional I greatly respected. MHDSRIP.”

Just three years ago Mabena had told TshisaLIVE in an interview that he wanted to get back to the gym and stay healthy because he feared diseases like diabetes and hypertension which had claimed his friends. Mabena told the newspaper: “I stopped going to gym some time last year, it’s not even old age, I just got lazy. But now I need to attack the damn thing [growing pot belly] because I don’t want to risk my health. I have recently lost too many friends to such diseases and I don’t want to fall victim to them too. That is why I need to lead a life that is as healthy as can be.”

The South African President extended his condolences to the Mabena family, as well as the colleagues and friends of the late broadcaster.

Meanwhile, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) joined South Africans and the media industry in mourning the loss of Mabena.

“South Africa has lost a giant today. Mabena was an inspiration to all South Africans and leaves an indelible mark in the industry,” said GCIS Director General, Phumla Williams in a statement on Monday.

Mabena was the recipient of many accolades and the founder of the Bob K Mabena Foundation.

Mabena paved the way for many aspiring radio personalities and through the foundation, he inspired and changed the lives of learners.

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Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Mabena, a broadcasting legend that I will miss dearly.My thoughts and…

Posted by Herman Mashaba on Monday, August 10, 2020