'Robbie's death was a shock to everyone' - Family friend

Veteran singer Robbie Malinga died on Christmas day. Image: INSTAGRAM
Veteran singer Robbie Malinga died on Christmas day. Image: INSTAGRAM

Despite his health suffering greatly after being diagnosed with anaemia over a year ago‚ Robbie Malinga's family and friends have been left shocked by his death‚ insisting that even though he spent much of 2017 in and out of hospital he was getting better.

Family friend and Universal Music spokesperson Dharam Sewraj said Malinga was optimistic about his health.

"He was in hospital in November and when he came out he was rested and well‚" Sewraj told TshisaLIVE on Christmas evening‚ hours after Malinga died.

Malinga recently celebrated his 47th birthday and told Sowetan that while he was fearful of death because of his anaemia it was his will to survive that saw him pull through.

His health made headlines for much of 2017 after pictures of his dramatic weight-loss went viral.

Malinga said that people had made "mean" comments about his health battles but he had children and a young wife and was determined to regain his health and live life to the fullest.

After releasing an album in November‚ Malinga's diary was jam-packed with performances and Sewraj said he had spoken to his friend who he had known for over 20 years just last week.

"This is a big loss. We are all shocked. This isn't just a loss to the entertainment industry but to South Africa."

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