Wed Oct 18 07:27:38 SAST 2017
Tributes pour in for Wits student

Tributes have poured in for a 19-year-old Wits University student who committed suicide at the weeke.

WATCH: Here's how Ray Phiri won the hearts of SA

By Chrizelda Kekana | 2017-07-12 11:41:10.0

Ray Phiri performing at the Zakifo Music Festival in Durban on Friday night. Pic : Thuli Dlamini. © Sowetan.

As news of veteran musician Ray Phiri’s death spreads‚ many have been reminded of the contribution he made to the music industry through hits released over the past three decades.

Ray died at a Nelspruit hospital during the early hours of Wednesday morning after a two-month battle with lung cancer. Family spokesperson Paul Nkanyane said his family was in a state of shock over the news.

The musician burst onto the music scene in the 1970s when he founded the Cannibals‚ which later grew and was renamed‚ Stimela.

One of the most popular songs from Ray and Stimela‚ was Zwakala (Come Here) which went on to be the soundtrack for SABC 1 drama Zone 14.

WATCH: Ray Phiri and Stimela - Zwakala


Ray was known as an ‘animated’ performer‚ who left his heart on stage and kept the crowd entertained.

Jazz enthusiasts would pitch up to concerts in numbers to watch the musician perform. Here’s why...

WATCHStimela - Whispers In The Deep Live 2010


The music that Ray and Stimela offered was music with a message. Some of their songs tackled important issues affecting society including the rise of HIV.

In 2010 the band released You Will Know which was popularly known as the condom song‚ which spread the message of practicing safe sex.

WATCH: Ray Phiri & Stimela: You Will Know (The Condom Song)-10 minutes