Johannesburg – Legendary radio personality Bob Mabena has died from cardiac arrest, aged 51.
Mabena’s cause of death was confirmed by his employers, Power FM.
At the time of his death, Mabena was the anchor of the breakfast show on Power 98.7.
“It is with deep grief and pain that we announce Power 98.7 Breakfast Host, Bob Mabena passed away this afternoon, from cardiac arrest.
“The family is coming to terms with his passing and respectfully requests the public to afford them the appropriate space.
“Further details will be communicated in due course,” said Power 98.7 management.
The Atteridgeville-born Mabena made his name in the hearts of minds of South Africans in the 90s where he started broadcasting for the now defunct Radio BOP (Bophuthutswana).
According to the Daily Sun, Mabena had been hospitalised recently owing to lung problems, before he was discharged and sent home.
The publication reports that he endured complications and struggled to breathe, before attempts were made to get him back to hospital, but it is reported he did not make it.
Mabena also worked for stations including Highveld, Metro FM and Kaya FM during his long and illustrious career.
He also made a smash hit song in the 90s with Kaizer Chiefs superstar, Doctor Khumalo.
The song, Get Funky, had the country dancing in the 90s.
Chatting with DJ Sbu on The Hustlers Corner earlier this year, he recalled how he had been reluctant to move to the then Radio Metro from Radio BOP.
He said he had been comfortable working for Radio BOP, but his girlfriend pushed him to take the leap and join Radio Metro after a then station manager had expressed an interest in Mabena joining the station.
He eventually made the move and he admitted the move was “fantastic for me”.
He also recalled how the song Get Funky was made as they were just fooling around with Doctor Khumalo, having fun, when the song was recorded.
On Twitter, celebrities paid tribute to Mabena.
Bob Mabena?????????? Nooooooo I can’t believe this? My condolences to his family and friends💔 I can’t believe it #RIPBobMabena
— Lalla Hirayama (@Lalla_Hirayama) August 10, 2020
Devastated to hear of the passing of radio legend Bob Mabena 💔
A true radio & broadcasting legend who leaves an amazing legacy. So privileged to have worked with him over the years. #RIP dearest Bob.
Gone far too soon 😢
— Katy Katopodis (@KatyKatopodis) August 10, 2020
As soon as we thought this year couldn’t get any worse… Bob Mabena passed away 💔 #RIP Mr Mabena.
— #QueenSono (@PearlThusi) August 10, 2020
Damm Rest In Peace to the legend Bob Mabena 💔 2020 ke msunu ‼️Bob was one of the first radio Djs I heard pushing the hip hop movement 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/Iy5mjdrrav
— 16 (@L_Tido) August 10, 2020
We lost a legend today.
Radio won’t be the same.
Rest In Power Bob Mabena 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/mDdlWl7aTM
— kid Fonque (@KidFonque) August 10, 2020
We lost a real one. My heart just sank…In complete disbelief.
Rest in Power King,
Rise in Power Legend,
— MaAfrika Moloi (@BontleModiselle) August 10, 2020