GABORONE, Botswana, August 2020/ — Tributes are pouring in for the dearly departed South African music architect and legend, Kgomotso Bob Mabena. The versatile and talented radio and TV personality died on Monday from cardiac arrest, aged 51. At the time of his death, Mabena was the anchor of the breakfast show on Power FM 98.7. The Atteridgeville-born Mabena made his name in the hearts of minds of Batswana in the 90s where he started broadcasting for the now defunct Radio BOP (Bophuthatswana). He has also featured at the popular 70s80s gig hosted by The Grand Palm.
Mabena also worked for stations including Highveld, Metro FM, and Kaya FM during his long and illustrious career. He also made a smash hit song in the 90s with Kaizer Chiefs superstar, Doctor Khumalo dubbed “Get Funky”.
Several Batswana have crossed paths with the legendary radio personality, and one who could not hide her loss is former Gabz FM Brand Manager, Cynthia Tsumake who described Mabena as an intelligent man who took his craft very seriously, and was always willing to change and adapt to the latest trends.
“I remember in 2016 when we hosted the 70s80s party alongside the Grand Palm and he was in the line up. The week leading to the festival ticket sales hadn’t surpassed 10% and because he was already ready to assist we convinced him to co-host the morning show with Reginald Richardson, where he took the show like his, he drove the listeners through his career path, and come festival time, the gig was sold out. I then met him during the liberty radio awards and he came to me as he remembered me from Gabz FM. Undoubtedly soulful soul, his legacy will go on”.
For his part, the master mind of the 70s80s party, Vince Swift Mosimanewakgang said, “He was a beautiful soul, a kind and very thoughtful person. A dear friend, a family man and a guy who loved his sound. He would go an extra mile for you when he was jamming. We spoke last week Friday and we had plans to launch his new classics album post COVID-19. We have really lost a good man.”
The Botswana Entertainment and Promoters Association (BEPA) former President, Zenzele Hirschfeld, renowned for her illustrious career in showbiz remembers Mabena as a true legend of our times.
“We are blessed to have had an opportunity to be blessed with such a talent like Bob. A true professional he was, and his humility was amazing.”
Others took to social media to remember Mabena. These include Thato Sikwane also known as DJ Fresh, a Motswana radio DJ, producer and entrepreneur based in South Africa. He is most known for his career on 5FM and Metro FM. DJ Fresh is currently a presenter on 947.
Fish Pabalinga, the Managing Director of Leap Frog Communication and Advertising Agency and creative innovator of Botswana’s biggest carnival dubbed Gaborone Music and Cultural Week (GIMC) also remembered Mabena. Fish started off by organizing shows in college as a student bringing the likes of SA’s Bob Mabena, Skizo, DJ Fresh and Khaya Khulu to the country.
Managing Director of a Digital Media Marketing and Public Relations Agency, WindRush Communications, Moses Maruping A.K.A Rudeboy Necta who is also the editor of Botswana’s chic and informative online magazine dubbed Botswana Unplugged also remembered Mabena. Moses is a seasoned print and broadcast journalist; blogger and PR Creative, who has interacted with many a soul including Mabena at the popular 70s80s shindig.