Ray Phiri. Image: WIKIPEDIA
Ray Phiri. Image: WIKIPEDIA

Ray Phiri's last moments were spent surrounded by close friends and family‚ his close friend and family spokesperson Paul Nkanyane has told TshisaLIVE.The music veteran died in a Nelspruit hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning after a battle with lung cancer.

"He had been battling for a while and his family were told that it wouldn't be that long. He died surrounded by friends and family and looked peaceful as he passed‚" Nkanyane said.

He added that the family was devastated and still in "deep shock" over Phiri's death.

An image from the cover of Stimela's 'Trouble in the Land of Plenty'. SUPPLIED
An image from the cover of Stimela's 'Trouble in the Land of Plenty'. SUPPLIED

"We are devastated and‚ naturally‚ asked why this has happened. But we are coming to terms with the loss because we understand that this is life and we have to be strong‚" he said.

He said the family had been notified about the cancer two months ago and immediately put Phiri on treatment.

"We were alerted to it two months ago after Ray became very sick. His health deteriorated until he was eventually admitted to hospital two weeks ago. We knew that it was serious but we did not want to even think about the possibility he would die‚" Nkanyane said.

As reported by TshisaLIVE earlier this week‚ Phiri's condition was made public after a close friend started a crowdfunding initiative to help pay the cost of his medical treatment. The initiative was later stopped by Phiri's family.

Nkanyane said they had requested the crowdfunding page be stopped because they wanted to deal with Phiri's condition in private.

"We are a very private family and did not want to reveal details about his condition to the media. But we are aware of the prayers on Ray's behalf and we are grateful for them. He was loved by many and we are grateful that he made such an impact on the nation‚" he said.


1982: Fire, Passion And Ecstasy
1983: Rewind
1985: Shadows, Fear And Pain
1986: Look, Listen And Decide
1987: Unfinished Story
1989: Trouble In The Land Of Plenty
1996: Out Of The Ashes
2000: Steam Tracks (Best of)
2001: Live At The Market Theatre - 1st Half (Live)
2002: The 2nd Half (Live)
2010: A Lifetime...
2011: Turn On The Sun

- TMG Digital

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