Radio DJ veteran Vukani Masinga, better known as Chilli M, has passed away at the age of 42, a family member has confirmed.
Masinga was rushed to hospital on Thursday morning and passed away in the afternoon. TshisaLive reports that a close friend says he died of “natural causes”.
Chilli M was a hugely popular radio DJ, as well as a music producer who collaborated with artists including DJ Tira. After stints on Metro FM and East Coast Radio, he moved to YFM, where his drive-time show with Dineo Ranaka, called The Essential Rush, became a hit. In 2012, he joined Ukhozi FM.
However, he was also known for drinking and for various controversies surrounding his life and career, which were often covered in the media.
Masinga was heartbroken when his daughter Nkanyezi was killed in a car accident in 2015.
He was fired from Ukhozi FM in 2016 after admitting to accepting payment for playing certain songs, saying he needed the money after experiencing financial problems after his daughter’s death.
Masinga was born in Durban township KwaMashu, and then later moved to Johannesburg.
The tragic news first surfaced on social media, with journalist and television presenter Mcfarlane Moleli one of those who expressed shock at what he described as “devastating news”.
Moleli told The Citizen he spoke to Masinga’s sister, who confirmed the news and said she was flying back to Johannesburg.
A family spokesperson will be elected and more information will be provided in due course.
Tributes have begun pouring in for Masinga on social media.
This is a developing story.
Just heard the devastating news that Chilli M, Vukani is no more. This is so sad man! Eish
— Macfarlane Moleli (@macmoleli) January 3, 2020
— #Sukuma (@DJJawz) January 3, 2020
Judge Jules aka Chilli M, born Vukani, a Radio Revolutionary. We all started at @Yfm, he then joined @NandosSA radio hence Chilli M, joined @METROFMSA in the 2000s, he also did public radio at UkhoziFM. Rest In Peace brother.
— T. (@tboseZA) January 3, 2020
????????????I had so much love for Chilli M wow, I was watching his interview a few days back with McG thinking he needs to make a comeback????????. pic.twitter.com/KBbz90YIFn
— ????Kasi Melanin???? (@Buthelezi_Zanel) January 3, 2020
Chilli M was the realist shock jock. He had the baddest drive time show in Mzansi together with @dineoranaka ????????????
— Kurushi???? (@Olebak213) January 3, 2020
I’m so blessed to have experienced your talent, knowledge and wisdom… RIP to a broadcasting legend and veteran… death be not proud, RIP Chilli M, The Father, uDaddy! ???????? #RIPChilliM #ChilliM pic.twitter.com/31KQjZXuw9
— Boo-c (@QueenOfPitori) January 3, 2020
Starting the year with a loss of a radio legend ????????????… RIP Chilli M your contribution to the Radio industry will never go unnoticed nor will it ever be forgotten! pic.twitter.com/maDhKrciiw
— Mrs Messi ???? (@JacintaNgobese) January 3, 2020
Is Chilli M really gone guys!? ????
— Choc Mousse ???????? (@mosa_BK) January 3, 2020
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)