Music icon was a spiritual being

Nombeko Rwaxa

Nombeko Rwaxa

Stompie Mavi is gone from our lives, vanished like the clouds from the sky, but memories of his wonderful voice and classic Xhosa compositions will stay with us forever.

I met Mavi in the late 80s in Ciskei while I was promoting music for Gallo. I was humbled by his sense of humour, although I did not know him very well and felt sorry for an artist in a wheelchair.

He displayed his entertaining tactics to a small group of guests, including Radio Ciskei DJs, with the likes of the late Evidence Kemp and the boxing presenter Dixie Ngqula. Not only did he have the crowd in a trance, but he also got caught up in his music in such a way that he tried to get off his wheelchair and dance.

At that event, Mavi shared his knowledge of music, his background as an actor in Johannesburg and how he encountered the tragedy of being wheelchair bound. He touched me spiritually with the encouragement that life is full of ups and downs, but it depends on you to wake up and reach your destiny because God loves us all.

Last year, I read several publications on his ideas of working with youth to pass on his talent and to discover theirs in order to explore it. He was on the right track to lead the youth in Eastern Cape to the honey land of music with the right mindset and direction.

This music icon has left me with only the fondest memories of himself.

Mavi is survived by his wife and several children. He will be buried tomorrow in Port Elizabeth.