Legendary South African Afro-pop producer Robbie Malinga was on Tuesday hailed for mastering the business side of the music industry and avoiding the stigma of dying poor despite having been a successful artist.
One of Malinga’s mentees, Sbusiso ‘Dj Sbu’ Leope, said Malinga had been a smart musician and had established the publishing company of his music, meaning he owned the whole catalogue of his music.
In 2015, Malinga started his own record company Robbie Malinga Entertainment, which houses artists such as Musa Sukwene, Sammisto and Maxi. Before then, Malinga was a producer and writer and also held the position of artists and repertoire at Universal Music South Africa.
Universal Music SA representative Madwedwe Ntombini said Universal was behind Malinga’s family all the way and urged the family to be strong.
“We are going to miss his creativity, his discovering talent every month, his smile and laughter, we will also miss his smell coz he wore expensive and unique colognes,” Ntombini said.
Malinga’s friend and Mpumalanga businessman Johan Sibiya said he was saddened and disappointed by Malinga’s death. Sibiya said he had shared a business-minded friendship with Malinga and had always encouraged each other.
“When I bought all the Jet Music stores in the country because music houses were shutting down, I wanted South African musicians to have a place to sell their music. Robbie was the first to give me a call and congratulated me,” Sibiya said.
“The Jet Music in Maponya Mall will miss him a lot because that is where he would promote a lot of his music. We want government to acknowledge artists because they create a lot of jobs and contribute a lot of tax. But there are no parliamentarians that are standing up for artists despite the artists’ work being pirated and exploited by people on the streets, they don’t even have protection from the State.”
Malinga died at home among his family on Christmas Day after a long illness following his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer in June.