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Jazz Legend Ray Phiri Laid To Rest

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Renowned South African Jazz legend Ray Phiri was on Saturday laid to rest at the Heroes' Acre in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.

Musicians, actors, politicians and music fans paid their last respects to Phiri.

He died of lung cancer two weeks ago at the age of 70.

Members of the South African Police Service presided over the special provincial funeral of Ray Chikapa Phiri.

Different speakers shared their fond experiences of the late music legend. He was described as a leader who was always ready to teach the youth.

Jazz musician Sipho ‘Hot Stix’ Mabuse says Phiri’s work will be celebrated by generations to come.

“Your exorbitant laughter be light not pain, as explained in all the songs you wrote, where did we go wrong, why we could have not felt the fire, and pain I will not manufacture the truth, did we not hear you, did we not heed the call, of high land drifter, today the pomp will celebrate Chikapa Ray Phiri.”

One of Phiri's sons Akhona says their father has taught them values that have helped them to become good citizens.

“Should you ever read his paper before him, he would basically tell you that look, go buy another one, I do not read old news. I now realise what he was teaching us, that if something does not belong to you, you have no right to it until you've requested it.”

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa says the late Jazz legend demonstrated to the whole world that local talent can fit on the global stage. He says Phiri strived to change the world adding that he did not allow the world to change him.

“ He lived his time to the fullest, and that he lived honestly and infringing, he was true to the place and the people, that bettered him true to those who courted him, and taught him everything he knew. He grew up with music surrounding him.”

Phiri has been laid to rest next to the late former speaker of the Mbombela Local Municipality Jimmy Mohlala at the Heroes' Acre in Mbombela.

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