There was not a dry eye in sight when Bob Mabena‘s wife, Eucharist, sobbed as she paid tribute to the love of her life at a funeral service at a crematorium in West Pretoria on Saturday.
Close friends and family gathered at the crematorium to bid farewell to the radio legend who died on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest at the age of 51.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions the ceremony was just over an hour long and was attended by only 50 of his loved ones and friends.
As a live band played soothing music in the background, Bob’s family and friends bid their last goodbyes to the father, husband, and radio legend.
Eucharist Mabena was supported by her friend Kgothatso as she read out a letter she wrote to bid farewell to the love of her life.
“My baby love, my super man, love of my life — words aren’t even coming to me. The past few days have felt like a long bad dream that keeps playing itself over and over. I’ve lain awake every night this week, hoping that you’ll walk through the door,” she said breaking off to cry.
There was not a dry eye in the room as people wiped away their tears whenever Mrs Mabena took moments to pull herself together in between reading the heartbreaking letter.
“The one who used to make me laugh uncontrollably hasn’t been here. My pillar, my best friend is no more. I keep asking God, why now?”
Eucharist thanked her late husband for his love and for keeping all the promises he made to her. She thanked God for their marriage and the past seven years they shared.
“The 10th of August is still a vivid nightmare. The day I watched my superman put down his cape. The day I never thought I would ever experience in my life. The day our cruise was interrupted by the angel of death. The day I drove home knowing that I will never see you again.
“My love, I want to thank you and God, for affording me the gift of time when you gave me the last hour of your life,” she said.
Bob’s children wrote brief goodbye notes to their father. They were read out by his emotional daughter Clementine.
Clementine who was visibly heartbroken expressed how much their dad meant to each of them and the gaping hole his death had left in their hearts.
“I thought that the day my father’s heart stopped beating, mine would do the same. I thought the sun would be blocked out and the world would stop spinning. And, I don’t know if this is denial or he’s holding me up but here I am,” she said before reading the letters from her siblings.
She read letters from Sihle, Taki, Owami, and his first grandchild, Tshiamo.
Bob’s son, Kamo read the obituary.
He read all about Bob’s illustrious career that spanned over three decades in broadcasting and in the corporate world as well. He also revealed that Bob was working on a biography that would capture the life and times of “The Jammer”.
Bob is survived by his wife and his 10 children.
Bob’s uncle, fondly referred to as Uncle Pat, who raised Bob as his son when his parents died, spoke about how the radio legend loved music even as a child.
“Myself and my brother Ronny raised Bob. He loved music from the very beginning. He would always chase after the music, which was a problem in the beginning because my mother worried that he would never fully live his potential because he didn’t seem interested in school work.”
Bob’s uncle said the family always came together to ensure that Bob lived up to his potential. He also thanked God for Bob’s life and the part he played in it.
“Bob is the man he was today because we made sure to speak to him and tell him to do things the right way. Bob listened to us and he grew up to be an honourable man with his own family and a great DJ. He took care of us and made us proud,” he said.
One of Bob’s “brothers” and long-time friend George Manyosi described him as “kind, humble and charismatic”.
George spoke about their early days in radio and how they set the bar back in 1989. He spoke passionately about how Bob grew his work ethic and became the humble superstar he was.
“The beauty about him, was his charisma and his hunger to learn … The last thing is his kindness, we all know it, sometimes it hurt him … He had the character, a gift that opened doors but he had a favour that is supernatural that was on him and that’s how the dude succeeded and became (the man) we celebrate today.”
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