POPULAR Thobela FM presenter Joe Mabotja died at the weekend, three months after walking down the aisle with his wife of 16 years.
Mabotja, 52, died after what his family described as a short illness.
Known to many of the station's listeners as "Lady Joe", Mabotja was one of the creative and committed presenters at the station.
Last December Mabotja and his wife Georgina tied the knot in Seshego to renew their vows after 16 years of marriage.
The couple had no children of their own but Mabotja was helping raise the children of his late sisters.
He joined the station in 1993 as a presenter and immediately won the hearts of many listeners with his numerous jokes on air.
Mabotja was presenting a religious programme A re tumisheng Morena (Let's praise the Lord) on Sundays between 8.30am and 11am.
He was also the producer of the station's morning drive show.
His wife said yesterday: "We have lost an engine, a motivator, a guider and a husband in the family."
Station manager Leuba Ramakgolo said Mabotja's death was "untimely" because they were looking up to him for many things.
"He was an entertainer who would not disappoint," Ramakgolo said.
Mabotja started off as a teacher at the Selelekela Secondary School in Orlando, Soweto, before returning to Limpopo toteach at the Ernest Matlou and Ramogobe Primary Schools in Moletji outside Polokwane. He then went to the Market Theatre where he worked with Solomzi Bisholo for a popular drama called Asinamali.
Then he joined Mbongeni Ngema's Sarafina where he worked as a pastor. During his stint in Sarafina Mabotja toured countries such as East and West Germany, England, Italy, Spain, France, Scotland, Japan, Australia, Holland, Sweden and Switzerland.