That was certainly the case with South African music industry legend Robbie Malinga, who was laid to rest yesterday after he died on Christmas Day after losing his fight against pancreatic cancer.
People cried because, they said, they will miss his humour (quirky and unpredictable) and his energy, as well as his knack of spotting and nurturing young black artists. At the same time, though, Malinga will be thanked and praised for the massive contribution he made to the local business and for that very talent in spotting the next big thing.
It is not that long ago that black musicians and artists were exploited by a white-dominated industry – and it was the efforts of people like Malinga who helped not only improve their position financially, but also brought a new influence to local music.
Many are the successes like that, where people from disadvantaged communities have been able to break free from the shackles of poverty and oppression and reach for the stars. That sort of inspiration is priceless – and for that, we thank you Robbie Malinga.